Problems reported at several Houston-area polling locations

By Aaron Barker - Senior Web Editor

HOUSTON - Voters reported problems Tuesday at several polling locations across Harris County.

Polls for Primary Election Day opened at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

When the polls opened across Texas Tuesday morning at 7 a.m., voters at the Montie Beach Park Community Center in north Houston said their polling place was not open.

Jennifer Perales and others said they waited hours. 

"This is kind of sad. Forty people left. I was first in line. I waited two hours to vote because it means a lot to me to vote. But two hours? And 40 to 50 people left?" Perales said.

The voters in line included state senator Sylvia Garcia.

Garcia is a Democratic candidate for the 29th U.S. Congressional seat. She said she would have to leave and come back later.  

"They have an iPad now and they do it like they do in many retail stores and you sign your name," Garcia said. "It wasn't taking it so they had to do mine probably four or five times. So the gentleman told me that that was one of the main hiccups. Some of the machines were not working but a lot of it was the iPads."

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart said the issue was not a technology issue, but rather a poll worker issue.

He said the equipment was not set up properly and ready to go in time for the polls to open.  He said 81 percent of the 759 voting locations utilized tablets.

"The judge for some reason wasn't able to connect the equipment correctly so the technician was able to get out there and get it all set up and it works fine now," Stanart said.

The Harris County Democratic Party said it considered going to federal court asking that the polls remain open past 7 p.m. But Tuesday afternoon an attorney for the party said such a challenge was not likely.

RELATED: What you need to know about voting on Primary Election Day

Several callers to the KPRC2 Newsroom also reported problems at their polling locations.

KPRC2 is conducting a Primary Election Day phone bank. Representatives from the League of Women Voters Houston and Mi Familia Vota are answering questions until 7 p.m. English-speaking voters can call 713-778-8920, and Spanish-speaking voters can call 713-778-8930.

Copyright 2018 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.