DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (KXAN) — Today is the first day to cast your vote for the November election and within the first hour, Hays County was already reporting issues. Hours after Monday morning’s issue was fixed, lines still stretched out the doors of the Dripping Springs polling location.
The county’s election administrator says the problem stemmed from old equipment. “If they get bent and don’t align well with these, that causes a connection issue,” said Hays County Elections Administrator Jennifer Anderson.
Unfortunately, that connection issue started with machine number two. Because Hays County’s voting equipment is all strung together at each polling location, that bad connection had a domino effect and shut down every booth after, seven total. It left just one booth open and a long line crawling out the door.
“It’s not anything that’s not, you know, we’re prepared to handle. But, it certainly caused a little bit of a delay in the fact that we are already busy,” said Anderson.
Extremely busy, some saying the crowds looked more like that of a presidential election than a midterm.
“I thought, oh my God, I was not expecting this on the first day of early voting, lines are never this long,” said Hays County Voter Beverly Gainer.
Many parked down the street and chose to wait over an hour to cast their ballot.
“It just shows the importance of voting, one way or the other, whichever way you’re going to vote,” said Hays County Voter George Somerville.
Most voters say they heard about the machine issues early in the morning in Dripping Springs but didn’t notice any problems when they arrived.
“All booths were up and running and getting through the registration was easy,” said Hays County Voter Mary Ober.
So, the long wait they believe had to do more with people exercising their rights than malfunctioning equipment.
As for future problems, the county says it hopes to purchase new voting equipment soon that has USB type connectors that are a little more reliable. That discussion could come up sometimes in January.
For now, they will keep technicians on standby.