Election 2016

A Very High Turnout And A Long Ballot Were Factors For The Long Lines On Super Tuesday

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart says some people took 30 minutes to vote.

There were at least four locations in Harris County with long wait times to vote on Super Tuesday.

At one of them in, Houston’s East End, voters were casting ballots after 10 p.m.

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart says his office hasn’t compiled a specific number of how many polling locations struggled with long lines on Super Tuesday.

But he underlines that the turnout surpassed most projections.

That especially impacted the Democratic primary.

More than 220,000 voters turned out on Tuesday, that’s about four times the turnout of the 2012 primaries.

“Then, also, we had people in the voting booths for a very long time,” Stanart notes.

Some voters took as much as 30 minutes to fill out a ballot.

“It doesn’t take more than a few people to spend thirty minutes in a voting booth before now you’ve got a pretty long line backed up behind you,” says Lane Lewis, Chairman of the Harris County Democratic Party.

A spokesman for Stanart’s office said there were more than 4,000 voting machines distributed on Super Tuesday, based on previous election day totals and estimated turnout.

Stanart and Alicia Pierce, a spokeswoman for the Texas Secretary of State, said it’s a collaborative effort with the Democratic and the Republican party.

The three of them decide on the number of designated polling locations and voting machines, but the parties approve the final plan.

“We can only approve what we have money for,” Lewis responds and explains the parties have to work with a limited budget set by the Secretary of State.

A spokesperson for the Harris County Republican Party declined to comment.

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Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz

Digital News Producer

Alvaro ‘Al’ Ortiz is originally from Madrid (Spain). He worked for several years in his home country and gained experience in all platforms of journalism, from wire services to print, as well as broadcast and digital reporting. In 2001, Al came to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree...

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