Man's Facebook post about voting problem goes viral

HOUSTON – A Houston-area man’s Facebook post about his experience during early voting Monday went viral, and raised questions about what voters should do if they have problems at the polls.

Jim Barker was one of more than 67,000 people who cast their ballots during the first day of early voting in Harris County.

In a post on his Facebook page, which has been shared more than 45,000 times, Barker said he waited in line for about an hour to cast his ballot. He said he voted a straight-party ticket, and when he scanned the ballot to make sure all the choices were correct, he noticed that the presidential race was not selected.

VOTERS BEWARE: I voted a straight party ticket this morning. Before pressing the cast ballot button, I scanned to make...

Posted by Jim Barker on Monday, October 24, 2016

Hector DeLeon, a spokesman for the Harris County Clerk’s Voter Outreach Department, said Barker did exactly what voters should do if they experience a problem – contact on-site staff for help. He said that after the problem is verified and can't be remedied by on-site workers, county staff will be dispatched to investigate the problem and, if necessary, replace any malfunctioning equipment.

Other than long lines, DeLeon said, no serious issues were reported Monday, but voters unfamiliar with the process led to some misunderstandings.

DeLeon suggested that people take the Harris County voting machines for a test drive on the county’s election website, Voters can also learn more about the process, including identification requirements and polling locations and can print sample ballots.

RELATED: Find early-voting locations and ID requirements in our guide

Representatives of both the Republican and Democratic parties said they are aware of Barker’s post and are monitoring the situation, but at this point there is no reason to believe that there was any wrongdoing.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has established a hotline where voters can report issues where they believe their vote is being suppressed. To report issues to the ACLU, call 888-507-2970 or email

Early voting ends Nov. 4. Voters can go to any early-voting location to cast a ballot. Most locations are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week.

Voters will need to show identification before casting a ballot, using either approved photo identification or another recognized form of non-photo identification, along with an affidavit.

Harris County officials said they expect about 750,000 people to participate in early voting. Overall, about 1.4 million are expected to vote.

Early voting is upon us! If you are thinking of heading to the polls and want to know how the machine works, hopefully my tutorial will help you! Questions or comments welcomed! KPRC2 / Click2Houston

Posted by KPRC2 Jake Reiner on Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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