9 Harris County polling places to stay open until 8 pm after lawsuit

HOUSTON – Nine polling places in Harris County will stay open an hour later after they failed to open on time Tuesday.

According to the Texas Tribune, a lawsuit filed by the Texas Civil Rights Project and the Texas Organizing Project after several polls opened after 7 a.m.

A judge issued a restraining order late Tuesday afternoon that requires the following polling locations to stay open until 8 p.m.:

  • Iglesia Trinidad located at 11602 Bobcat Road in Houston
  • Metcalf Elementary located at 6100 Queenston in Houston
  • Evelyn Thompson Elementary located at 220 Casa Grande Dr.
  • Hampton lnn Katy Fwy. located at 5820 Katy Freeway in Houston
  • Fiesta Mart located at 1130 Kirby Drive in Houston
  • John Marshall Middle School located at 1115 Noble St. in Houston
  • HOAPV Community Building located at 810 Bluebonnet Place Circle in Houston
  • Lone Star College Cypress Center located at 19710 Clay Road in Katy
  • Houston Community College Alief Center located at 13803 Bissonnet in Houston
This map shows the polling places in Harris County, Texas, that were ordered to stay open until 8 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2018.
This map shows the polling places in Harris County, Texas, that were ordered to stay open until 8 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2018.

Problems reported at some polls

The polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday but not without a few hiccups across the Houston area.

The Harris Votes website, where people in Harris County can go to find their voting location, experienced a technical glitch that caused the site to show an error message when people tried to look up their precinct and ballot.

However, a representative from the League of Women Voters working at the KPRC2 phone bank contacted the Harris County Clerk’s Office Tuesday morning and alerted officials to the issue and it was fixed minutes before the polls opened. 

After the polls opened at 7 a.m., several reached out to KPRC2 with reports of various locations experiencing issues.

Reports came in from all over the city, including Humble, Sharpstown, Alief and Spring, with complaints ranging from machines not working to polling locations not being open.

"It's disturbing seriously," said one Houston woman.

"There were 10 machines inside and five were not working. Only The iPad used to check people in was working," said another female voter.

The frustration grew pretty quickly as the line stretched outside Bonham Elementary School in Southwest Houston.

Voters waited in line when polling officials said several machines could not be used because of technical difficulties.

"They called technical support and they are waiting for it but there is nothing they can do,” said a voter waiting in line. “It's just taking a really long time."

Over at Martin Elementary School, a woman told KPRC2 the polling place opened a half-hour late and was have technical problems, too.

The Fiesta on Main and Kirby also did not open on time, causing overflow at the polling location.

"You all knew this was Election Day and you're not prepared," said one woman who waited in line.

The director of communications with the Harris County clerk’s office told KPRC2 these issues are not abnormal.

“Election clerks always experience minor hiccups at the beginning of the day. There is a plan in place to help clerks address those issues. Usually, after the first hour, everything quiets down.”

For any questions regarding the election, Houston-area can reach out to the KPRC2 phone bank at 713-788-8920 for English and 713-778-8930 for Spanish.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct number of locations that have been ordered to stay open late.

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