Voters in Texas’ Harris County, which includes Houston, waited in long lines at some polling places Tuesday morning, in part because of technical issues that either delayed some sites’ openings or reduced the number of available voting machines.
That included lines of up to two hours at a large Houston voting center, the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center on West Gray Street, CNN affiliate KHOU reported. Twenty of the site’s 60 machines were not operating at one point, though all were working by mid-morning, according to KHOU.
“We’re getting reports that some of our judges have had a little trouble opening their polling locations this morning,” though the process was “smoothing out a little bit,” Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum told reporters late Tuesday morning.
“There’s a process as it relates to opening the voting machines and getting them set up properly, and sometimes if the proper steps aren’t followed, then it may cause a couple of machines to go down. And our response is to send a technician out to those locations to get those machines back up online,” Tatum said.
One polling location couldn’t open on time because a supplier did not deliver a key to open the machine, he said.
Tatum urged voters to shift to a nearby polling site if the one they visited had long lines. Harris County residents can vote at any of the county’s 782 polling places.
Calls and emails to Tatum’s office for comment weren’t immediately returned.
Harris County, Texas’ most populous, has more than 2.5 million registered voters. The county had more than 750,000 voters during early voting, and Tatum said he was “hoping to see at least 500,000” voters Tuesday.