CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — If you waited until Election Day to vote, you most likely spent time waiting.
“It definitely could have been shorter,” said Amanda Lee, who just moved to Austin and is a first-time Texas voter.
Keep up-to-date by going to KXAN’s election page for coverage ahead of election day Nov. 8 and results.
She waited an hour and 15 minutes.
“Go out and vote if you haven’t already,” she said.
KXAN visited several polling places in Central Texas in the morning and early afternoon and reached out to 16 county election officials to understand if there were any issues for voters. We found long lines didn’t deter those determined to vote. There were long waits in Travis, Hays and Williamson counties.
There were no major issues, but there were a few small hiccups in some Central Texas counties.
Williamson County officials said it had “some reports of voter intimidation” at two Round Rock locations, including a Randalls grocery store.
“We had reports of Candidates and campaigners hollering at voters/asking them aggressively who they were voting for,” county spokesperson Connie Odom said in an email. She was not aware of law enforcement getting involved.
“Otherwise,” she said, “nothing out of the ordinary.”
In Travis County, the county clerk told us there was a miscommunication between a poll worker and a voter regarding the rule of no campaigning within 100 feet of the front door of the polling place. It was resolved without authorities responding.
A similar situation happened in Lee County, where election officials say people were campaigning to voters. It was resolved peacefully as well.
In Bell County, a judge extended voting hours to 8 p.m. Tuesday due to a delay in opening polling places.
“Our understanding is that the delay in opening polling places was caused by the e-pollbooks having to be re-programmed because they were not set to the right time, and were still on pre-Daylight Saving time,” said Sam Taylor with the Texas Secretary of State’s Office.
As of mid-afternoon, Taylor said the Bell County issue is “probably the biggest issue we’ve heard of so far.” He added at the time there was “nothing out of the ordinary for a typical General Election in a midterm year.”
Burnet also had a similar issue with its machines, but it did not result in a long delay.
In Milam County, the new voting system there had an issue that delayed voting for some for less than an hour, according to election officials.
In Lampasas County, one polling location lost electricity for a while, but the voting machines kept running on battery power.
And election officials in Caldwell County said they had to use ballot box voting at one site when the machines weren’t working.
“I just feel so lucky to have the privilege to vote,” Laura Chamberlin said, who waited 45 minutes. “And, to be in a country where we have that privilege, is a blessing.”
A “handful” of polling locations in Williamson County experienced 45-minute wait times but “many” voting centers reported 15 minutes or less, said Odom.
Shortly after lunchtime in Georgetown, a line of people stretched into the parking lot. A poll worker told the crowd to have their IDs ready and let them know it would be a 45-minute wait. At least one voter was confused about her proper polling location.
Scenes like this played out across Central Texas with reports of long lines but few problems otherwise. Several voters, in different counties, described the experience as “smooth.”
At the Randalls in Cedar Park, the grocery store served voters hungry to cast their ballots. A viewer sent KXAN a photo at 9 a.m. showing voters lining the length of the strip mall. When we went, just before 1 p.m., we saw the same thing.
More than 60 people waited outside to cast their ballots. Some brought books to keep themselves busy.
“It was just a delay in terms of how long you have to wait,” said Paramjeet Sing, who waited an hour to vote. “But, other than that, everything worked fine.”
For Sing, and other voters, the long wait time doesn’t matter. What does: making sure their voices are heard.
“This is an important election,” Sing said. “It’s really about the country.”