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Super Tuesday election problems: ballot scanners, voter check-ins, wrong redistricting information

Counties across Alabama, California, Texas, and Utah all experienced problems with voting for the Tuesday elections, which caused some voters to leave without casting their ballots.

Published: March 6, 2024 11:00pm

Numerous election issues occurred in multiple counties throughout the U.S. on Super Tuesday – from malfunctioning ballot scanners to voters having problems checking in at polling stations and being directed to the wrong station.

Counties in Alabama, California, Texas and Utah all experienced problems, resulting in some voters leaving polling sites without casting a ballot.

Alabama

In a newly formed congressional district, 6,593 voters received postcards from Montgomery County with the incorrect district, the Associated Press reported. The new district was drawn to increase the collective voting power of black residents. 

According to the Montgomery County Board of Registrars chairman, election software incorrectly identified some voters as living in the 7th Congressional District, despite living in the 2nd Congressional District. Voters were still able to vote for the correct candidates at the polls.

As of Tuesday evening, the county had sent about 2,000 notices out to affected voters, with the other roughly 4,000 to be sent out Wednesday.

California

In Nevada County, voter check-in systems were temporarily down Tuesday morning as a result of a technical issue. The county said that during that time, between 7-7:30 a.m., voters were given provisional ballots.

The problem “originated from the system vendor and affected multiple counties, was resolved at 7:30 a.m., and voting has resumed as normal,” the county posted on its website.

Texas

Harris County, home to the city of Houston, has a history of election issues, to which Super Tuesday added.

Democratic County District Attorney Kim Ogg was told she already voted when she went to cast her ballot in the Texas primary elections.

Ogg was prevented from voting Tuesday morning because a ballot had already been cast in her name, CNN reported. She was also a candidate on the primary ballot but lost the election, according to local news station KHOU 11.

County Clerk Teneshia Hudspeth released a statement Tuesday morning, explaining that Ogg's life partner appeared to have mistakenly voted early last week under Ogg's name. Both Ogg and her partner live at the same address.

Ogg was able to cast her ballot later on Tuesday. Both Ogg and her life partner, Olivia Jordan, had to present identification to vote and do not share a last name.

Fort Bend County gave ballots to voters for the wrong precinct during early voting. The county said Monday the issue was caused by 2021 redistricting that resulted in several houses being incorrectly coded. County officials said the issue affected less than 100 voters.

Tarrant County, which includes Fort Worth, experienced ballot scanner issues, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper.

One polling location had malfunctioning ballot scanners for much of the day. A blind reporter for the Star-Telegram who went to that location found that the proper accommodation equipment for her to vote hadn’t been set up. As a result, it took about two hours for her to cast her ballot.

There were long lines for Republican primaries at some polling locations because of higher turnout than Democrats in Tarrant County. One location didn’t have enough voting machine power cords at the beginning of the day, but the issue was quickly resolved.

Some voting locations in the county initially had difficulties signing in voters, but the problem was promptly solved. However, a couple of GOP voters left one location that had issues with checking voters in.

Travis County also experienced issues signing in voters at polls, but they were quickly identified and resolved, according to the Associated Press.

Utah

Multiple counties across the state experienced difficulties with QR codes for signing in GOP voters for their caucuses. The online system was unable to function with the volume of voters trying to access it, causing local GOP leaders to switch to checking their voter registration list and comparing it to people’s photo IDs.

The issue caused some voters to leave without voting.

The Salt Lake County auditor wrote on his X account that his caucus ran out of ballots and voters were told to write down their preferred candidate.

The Utah GOP chairman noted that there were “hiccups” during the caucus, but called it a success overall.

“Following a successful caucus night, I’m proud to announce preliminary results for Utah Republican Party’s Presidential Preference Poll,” said UTGOP Chairman Robert Axson. “I want to thank all the candidates who participated, our dedicated organizers and volunteers, and especially the caucus-goers, even when dealing with long lines and some hiccups to the check-in process in some locations.”

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