Few major issues at Central Texas polls

Flawn Academic Center voting line (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)
Flawn Academic Center voting line (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Organizations taking reports of possible issues at the polls say central Texas did not see major problems Tuesday.

The Travis County Clerk, Dana DeBeauvoir, said Pecan Springs Elementary School had a fire alarm go off, causing that polling place to evacuate. The ballot box was locked down and the location needed a second ballot box to continue. The entire ordeal lasted about 30 minutes, according to DeBeauvoir.

The Flawn Academic Center also opened 26 minutes late, according to the clerk, due to set up taking longer than expected. Finally, DeBeauvoir says poll workers saw brief connectivity issues with the voter registration system used during the check in process.

Andy Hogue with the Travis County Republican Party says poll watchers were out Tuesday. Still, he had not heard of major issues as of Tuesday afternoon, aside from the laptop issues reported at Austin’s Hill Elementary School. The problem took a few hours to be resolved. For voters that meant waiting in line for an estimated 15 minutes, which is double the typical time it takes to usually cast a vote at the north central Austin school.

State Democrats also ran a voter protection hotline. Attorney Jan Soifer, who is also a Democratic District Judge nominee, said the hotline also had reports of confusion over the voter ID law and calls about the issues at Pecan Springs Elementary School and Flawn Academic Center.

Representatives with the Election Protection coalition, which is led by Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and partners with the Texas Civil Rights Project, said they did not notice anything particularly unusual in Travis, Williamson, and Hays Counties. They were focused on issues Harris County and Denton County.

In Harris County, the coalition received reports of polling places changing at the last minute, poll worker confusion over voter ID, and a man who was armed being handcuffed in Spring, Texas after crossing the 100-foot zone near a polling place.

In Denton County, the coalition took reports of inoperable machines and police officers present inside polling places.

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