AUSTIN (KXAN) — A few days into early voting and some people are having issues when they arrive at polling locations.
Williamson County voter Bobby Knight said he was eager to sign his daughter up to vote, but when they arrived at a polling location on Monday, they were shocked to find out her name was not showing up.
“We mailed in her voter registration to change her address on about Sept. 11,” Knight said. “When we got there they said you aren’t registered to vote.”
KXAN asked Williamson County if there were delays in getting voter registration information entered into their system. Sometimes, those delays can occur, officials confirmed.
“Yes, sometimes there is a delay in getting registrations to a county and then entered into the voting system, particularly if people register closer to the deadline,” a county spokesperson said.
The Texas Secretary of State’s Office collects voter registrations and then sends them back to the counties in order to enter them into their county voting systems.
Williamson County said it hires additional staff to enter the information into its system. If a voter has registered to vote before the deadline and they don’t show up, they are encouraged to consider voting provisionally.
“Saturday they are open and we will try Saturday and see if the system updated, and if it did not, I guess we will do a provisional ballot,” Knight said.
The Travis County Tax Office said it completed entering voter registration applications prior to the start of early voting. While it has been experiencing staffing shortages, it had employees from other departments within the tax office volunteer to work overtime in order to complete data entry and avoid delays.
Some on time applications arrived in our office after the start of early voting. For example, this morning we received eight applications from the post office that were submitted on time. When this happens, the application is entered the same day it is received and sent to the Texas Secretary of State.
The Secretary of State is responsible for confirming the identity and eligibility of the voter and issuing a Voter Unique Identifier (VUID) to our office. The voter registration is not complete until the VUID is issued. Currently, there are approximately 300 voters who have not been issued a VUID by the state. Files from their office are updated nightly.
Voters who submit incomplete applications will not appear on the voter rolls until a new application has been submitted and a VUID issued by the state. When we receive an incomplete application on time, the voter receives a notice with a new application, and Texas law provides 10 days to resubmit a completed form in order to vote in the current election. The most common problems we see that require correction include the voter not signing the form, not filling out the date of birth or not checking the citizenship box.
When a voter goes to the polls and is not on the roll, the election judge will contact our office so we can research the record. The resolution often depends on the individual’s situation, but the voter always has an option to vote a provisional ballot. That ballot will come to our office, we will review the records in an attempt to cure the ballot, and we will send our findings to the ballot board who will determine if the ballot will be counted. There are many different scenarios depending on the voter’s unique situation…Travis County Tax Office
There are 416,893 registered voters in Williamson County and 886,480 registered voters in Travis County.