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Early Voters in Texas Find Long Lines, Confused Poll Workers

Early voting started yesterday in Texas, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Voters in some counties were met with long lines, malfunctioning equipment, and even poll workers confused about state law.

Electionland partner Texas Tribune reported that voters in coastal Nueces County — which includes Corpus Christi — saw wait times of upwards of an hour. One voter reported a three-hour wait at a precinct with only a single polling station. Long wait times were also reported in Harris County, home of Houston. County clerks told the Tribune that there was unexpectedly high turnout.

But different problems awaited voters in North Texas’ Denton County, where electronic voting machines arrived at polling stations programmed to Election Day settings. Voters had to wait as workers reprogrammed the machines. And in Bexar County, a voter took to Twitter to complain that her polling station was using a flier with outdated information on Texas’ voter ID law. The information in the flier was based on a law struck down by a federal court over the summer.

The Texas Secretary of State (who is on Twitter and uses it) later tweeted to say the sign had been removed.

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Portrait of Jessica Huseman

Jessica Huseman

Jessica Huseman covers voting rights and election administration for ProPublica.

About Electionland

ProPublica’s Electionland project covers problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. Our coalition of newsrooms around the country are investigating issues related to voter registration, pandemic-related changes to voting, the shift to vote-by-mail, cybersecurity, voter education, misinformation, and more.

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