Fort Bend County machines malfunction for a brief period as early voting begins

By Shawn Mulcahy | The Texas Tribune
Posted 10/13/20

Voting machines across Fort Bend County were down Tuesday morning when polls opened at 8 a.m. Central due to a computer glitch as early voting began across Texas.

The majority of machines were …

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Fort Bend County machines malfunction for a brief period as early voting begins

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Voting machines across Fort Bend County were down Tuesday morning when polls opened at 8 a.m. Central due to a computer glitch as early voting began across Texas.

The majority of machines were back online as of 9:15 a.m., the county elections office said.

Fort Bend County Judge KP George, who is on site at the Smart Financial Center mega voting site, acknowledged "glitches in the voting system" that hampered the start of of early voting and vowed a full investigation.

"I assure you those who are responsible will be held accountable," he said in a video posted to Facebook.

Voting had resumed at all locations on Tuesday afternoon, according to a county elections official.

County election staff had originally programed the equipment to begin early voting on Oct. 19, said Election Administrator John Oldham. In July, Gov. Greg Abbott allowed early voting to begin a week earlier, but Oldham said staff never corrected the date in the county's election equipment, and the incorrect date prevented voting machines across Fort Bend County from connecting to the county's election system on Tuesday morning.

Oldham said the machines will be updated Tuesday evening after polls close to prevent further issues.

Voters in Tarrant County likewise experienced long lines after a poll worker tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the county to temporarily shutter three early voting locations while officials worked to find replacement workers.

Only one location — the Euless Family Life Senior Center — remained closed as of 9:30 a.m., according to the Tarrant County Elections Office.

"Fort Bend County machines malfunction for a brief period as early voting begins" was first published at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/10/13/texas-early-voting/ by The Texas Tribune. The Texas Tribune is proud to celebrate 10 years of exceptional journalism for an exceptional state.

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