Voters find long lines at polls after work

HOUSTON - A record number of Harris County voters turned out Tuesday night, but many were still waiting to vote long after polls were supposed to close.

Huge crowds at least half a dozen Republican polling places, keeping some voters waiting to get in for hours.

The winner in the Republican U.S. Senate runoff, Ted Cruz, was called before many even a chance to vote.

"We encouraged them to have more locations," Harris County Clerk Stan Stanard said. "They did not take our advice."

Stanard said the Republican Party didn't anticipate the large turnout. Republicans had 68 polling places to the Democrats' 78.

Stanard no one expected the big surge in voters who arrived after work.

"We had an extraordinary percentage of Election Day voters after 5 p.m., he said. "What we think is about 60 percent of the people voted after 5 p.m. in the Republican primary."

Another problem with tabulating votes resulted in inaccurate vote counts being reported in eight Democratic races during before the problem was corrected.

In the Democratic Precinct 2 constable runoff, for instance, Zerick Guinn went to bed last night believing he'd won with 98 percent of the vote counted. But Wednesday morning, after the vote was corrected, he discovered he'd lost about 600 votes and trailed opponent Chris Diaz by 3.

"In the transfer from the counting station to the reporting, something went wrong," Stanard said. "That caused the inaccurate numbers to actually be put in that report."

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.