Harris County voters spending more time casting ballot at new voting machines

Courtney Carpenter Image
Friday, November 4, 2022
Harris County voters plug away at new voting machines and longest ballot in the nation with 90 to 103 selections
Prepare to spend extra time at the polls. Harris County has the longest ballot in the country, the administrator's office says.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With two full days of early voting left, ABC13 worked to find out how the process has been going and what, if any, issues voters may be facing.

According to the Harris County Elections Administrator's office, one thing they want people to realize is that the ballot is substantial and that it may take them a bit more time to complete it.

"I remember going through page after page after page," said early voter, Mirasol Sandoval.

According to the elections administrator's office, it's the longest ballot in the country with between 90 and 103 selections to make depending on where you live.

The office of the elections administrator says it's taking most people who come prepared about seven to 10 minutes to cast their votes.

Also, if you didn't vote in May, this will be your first time using the new voting machines. It's a paper ballot system, and since there are so many selections, it will take two pages that you have to feed in one by one.

"I didn't realize you had to feed one at a time, so I tried to feed both of them and it jammed. It was kind of a little hectic for a minute trying to fix that," Sandoval said.

For some voters, the process was a little more simple than they expected."

"I thought it would be very confusing, but you just kind of put it right in. It scans it for you, it's very easy. The computer does everything for you," Faraz Afridi, another early voter, explained.

Most voters ABC13 spoke with Wednesday say they had no trouble casting their ballot.

"I thought it was very smooth. All of the people working were delightful," early voter Carol Taylor said.

Another early voter, Eric Mayfield, described the process as "easy, efficient, convenient."

However, in Fort Bend County, the elections administrator said they were having no issues outside the norm. Their ballot is just one page and they do not have brand-new machines.

In Brazoria County, the lead elections clerk told ABC13 they also have new machines and there was a learning process, however, overall, things are running smoothly.

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RELATED: Counties across Texas see fewer early voters now compared to 2018, data shows

ABC13 looked at the latest numbers from the Secretary of State's office in Austin and compared them to the early voter turnout in 2018.