A record-breaking number of voters cast their ballots early across Texas. That's good news for democracy, but the high turnout on opening day of early voting wasn't without incident, including long lines throughout the state, inaccurate voter ID signs and machine snafus in Denton County.
KERA's Stephanie Kuo reports a number of Denton County voters reported problems with machines early Monday morning.
"It was very frustrating. There were lots of people, and there were older people who were struggling to even get out of the car much less to turn around and get back in," Trophy Club resident Bonnie Moore told KERA. She says she tried to vote just before 9 a.m. at the Roanoke Library and was turned away.
"And there was just no explanation. It wasn't like, 'thank you for voting,' or 'here's a paper ballot,' or 'here's anything.' It was just, 'sorry, the machines aren't working.' And that just seemed so wrong," Moore said.
This year, KERA is partnering with ProPublica and news organizations across the country to track voting issues like these. Centered on the premise that there is no act more central to a democracy than voting, Electionland is a project that's covering access to the ballot and problems that prevent people from exercising their right to vote during the 2016 election.
You can get involved in Electionland by texting TXDECIDES to 69866. We’ll check in to find out how long it took you to vote and whether you had or saw any problems. You can also tweet about voting issues you see with the hashtag #TXDecides. Read more about Electionland.
In Bonnie Moore's case, there was a speedy resolution. Denton County officials blamed the problems on a glitch in the machines' programming. Voting machines were set for Election Day, not for early voting, so workers couldn't log in. Officials brought in new equipment, and voting returned to normal by 10:30 am.
Lannie Noble, Elections Administrator for Denton County, says the county will investigate how this happened.
Noble says 11 out of 22 polling locations in Denton County had trouble with their voting machines, including Highland Village.
Note: As part of KERA News' partnership with Electionland, reporter Stephanie Kuo and statewide coordinating editor Rachel Osier Lindley are covering voting issues leading up to the Nov. 8 election. If you'd like to talk to someone about your experience at the polls, email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.