Texas Voters Encounter Long Lines And A Few Equipment Problems On Super Tuesday

Reporters from around the state say interest in the primary election is high.

By Rhonda FanningMarch 3, 2020 7:05 am

Voters across Texas, and in 14 other states and territories, are casting primary ballots this Super Tuesday. Texas Standard checked in with reporters around the state who have been covering voter turnout. They report some problems with equipment and poll staffing.

KUT-Austin reporter Audrey McGlinchy says Travis County election officials reported no-shows among poll workers due to fears of coronavirus. Election officials filled in the gaps made by those missing county workers.

In Manor, Texas, east of Austin, McGlinchy says wait times to vote were initially long due to a malfunctioning voting machine. The problem has been remedied, leading to a wait time of about 20 minutes, she says.

Around Austin, lines at polling places are considerably longer, with the county’s website showing significant delays.

“At least anecdotally, my coworkers are seeing long lines at some stations,” McGlinchy days.

In Houston, Florian Martin of Houston Public Media says lines are long there, too. He visited polling places in the predominately African American Sunnyside area. There, and elsewhere, he says voters were lined up before the polls opened.

Martin says Harris County officials believe problems that delayed poll results during an election last year shouldn’t be a problem this year.

Miguel Perez is a reporter with KERA North Texas. He spoke to a cross section of voters in East Dallas where the lines weren’t long. Nevertheless, he says “a steady stream” of voters has been casting ballots there.

Perez says he hasn’t noticed a trend in who voters say they’re supporting. They seem to be voting for a range of candidates, from Bernie Sanders to Michael Bloomberg to Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden.

“One woman even came out to reaffirm her support for Donald Trump,” Perez says.

Texas Public Radio reporter Jack Morgan says San Antonio voters don’t seem particularly concerned about voting amid the threat of coronavirus, even though the city’s mayor has declared a public health emergency.

Morgan says lines were long at two of the three polling places he visited.

Reynaldo Leaños Jr. covers immigration and border issues for Texas Public Radio. He says he didn’t encounter lines at a polling place in Palmview, Texas, just outside of Mission. He says the Rio Grande Valley is a heavily Democratic area, but it’s unclear whether a moderate candidate like Biden, or progressives like Sanders or Warren, will be successful.


Written by Shelly Brisbin.