Problems at the polls: Election workers continue to count ballots after issues arise in Harris County

HOUSTON – Nearly 24 hours after polls closed, Harris County Elections staff was still working on tabulating results on Wednesday evening.

Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum says that’s the top priority, and next up is assessing the issues reported on Election Day.

“Yesterday, after 40 years plus under my belt, was the worst day I have ever felt trapped in,” Charlotte Lampe said.

FULL LIST: Texas general election results for Nov. 8, 2022

After decades on the front lines of democracy, Lampe, a Cypress Precinct 828 elections judge is not shy with her words.

“The manual is not written well,” she said. “It’s not a resource we can use. The tech support wasn’t there. The ballots weren’t there. It was the trifecta of horrible elections experience.”

She says 10 minutes after opening their doors at Hamilton Middle School, the voting machines malfunctioned.

“Jams, tears, rips,” she described.

Vincent Sanders has 19 years of experience presiding of over precinct 525 in southwest Houston. He was at Milne Elementary School.

“It was a little challenging,” Sanders said. “We had issues with equipment going up and then going down.”

Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum says he’s going to assess the issues. They have 180 technicians to cover 782 polling locations.

“We’ve communicated what those issues are, what we are seeing and they are going to be assessing their equipment to determine what may have caused those particular issues,” Tatum said.

He says they will be looking into which polling locations had issues and why. A similar approach to complaints of a lack of ballot paper.

“If I’m sending a technician to deliver paper that may be needed later in the day then that technician is not on site managing the machine that’s gone down,” Tatum said. “You have to prioritize.”

Both the Harris County GOP and Democratic parties say their offices received complaints from election workers. The GOP says they heard from at least 23 different locations about inadequate ballot paper.

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