HOUSTON – Waiting was the word of the day on the first day of early voting in Harris County.
At Alief Regional Library on Kirkwood near Beechnut, poll workers said more than 600 people came through Tuesday, some waiting in line as long as 2 1/2 hours. Even after voting officially ended at 7 p.m., the line was still wrapped around the building.
Fritzloine Jean finally decided to stand in line after driving by two other times Tuesday -- leaving after being discouraged.
“We came here this morning, it was the same thing. We came in the middle of the day, 12 to 2 p.m., it’s the same thing. The line is long,” Jean said. “And then we decided to come at this time. It’s still long.”
Precinct volunteers said the wait at one Harris County location was due to having only eight voting machines inside. At some Fort Bend County polling locations, technical issues were the problem.
“I’ve been waiting roughly about five hours. Five and a half hours” said voter Cedric Bishop.
The Chasewood Community Center Clubhouse in Missouri City was one of numerous Fort Bend polling spots that had computer issues. At the location, they also experienced a power outage. Most people chose to wait, leaning on a combination of patriotism and patience.
“I’d like to advise anybody who hasn’t hit the polls yet,” Bishop said. “Man make a day out of it because at this rate, unless they fix it man you’re going to be out here a long time.”
“This election I think really is a life or death thing,” said Dorothy Lastice, resident of Fort Bend County.
Lastice waited nearly five hours at the Chasewood Community Center and she finally walked out just after 9:30 p.m.
“What we’ve been told is there was only one person, one computer to check people in, which is a little ridiculous,” said Lastice. “I felt like it was one of things that you kinda discourage people and go home, but nope, we waited until the bitter end.”
Fort Bend County Judge K.P. George said they will extend voting hours to 7 p.m. through Saturday to accommodate today’s glitches. He also said he has ordered a full investigation to determine exactly what led to those glitches.
KPRC 2 Reporter Cathy Hernandez contributed to this report.