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.
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, harrisvotes.org. Voters can also learn more about the process, including identification requirements and polling locations and can print sample ballots.