Hays County resolves issues with voting machines

Line at the Hays Co. early voting site at Precinct 2 in Kyle where the voting machines were down on Oct. 25, 2016. (KXAN Photo/Lauren Lanmon)
Line at the Hays Co. early voting site at Precinct 2 in Kyle where the voting machines were down on Oct. 25, 2016. (KXAN Photo/Lauren Lanmon)

KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — The Hays County Election Office has determined that it was a faulty cable connection that caused their voting equipment at the Hays County Precinct 2 location in Kyle to go down Tuesday morning.

A spokesperson for Hays County says they noticed the problem at the early voting site at 9:50 a.m. The machines were back up and running by 11:10 a.m.

“We came out, we troubleshooted for a little while and it appeared to be a faulty cable connection. We went ahead and checked all the cables, then we changed out the equipment and got it up and running,” said Jennifer Anderson with the Hays County Elections office.

“It’s a little frustrating,” said Hays County voter Jim Gambrell. “We came back before 8 and left between 10 and 11, they had voting machines that would not work. We’re back now around noon and apparently someone got a machine working.”

Gambrell and his wife tried to vote Monday morning but couldn’t find a place to park, so they returned Tuesday to find long lines and a machine that was out of order.

“Things happen when you deal with technical equipment,” said Anderson.

On the first day of early voting, there was some confusion as to whether or not the Precinct 2 office at 5458 FM 2770 in Kyle was open for early voting. The County Clerk’s substation was closed for training, but the polling site was open. Anderson says they also had to reboot the entire system on Monday, causing a delay for just a few minutes.

“You would think that something this important, that the people would have revisions already in place because a lot of people had to take off work, they had to find a babysitter, and then they didn’t get to vote,” said Gambrell.

KXAN viewer Rich Payne said he arrived at the polling site around 7:45 a.m. and there was already a long line of people waiting to vote when the site opened at 8 a.m. Around 20 minutes later, Payne said an election worker came down and said the system was down but that it was only going to be a 10-minute delay. He ended up leaving after waiting for one hour.

“They seemed ill prepared to fix the problem and worse than that, they communicated virtually no information after the initial announcement,” said Payne.

Hays County says they will have a crew at the Precinct 2 site Wednesday morning to make sure everything is ready before voters arrive. “Tomorrow we will have smooth voting,” promised Anderson.

Hays County has seven other early voting sites open if you can’t vote at the Hays County Precinct 2 location. Click here for the full list.

Hays County uses Hart Intercivic machines.

 

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