UNHACKABLE: Harris Co. clerk says ballots safe from tampering

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Harris County clerk says voting machines are safe
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The Harris County Clerk's office says the votes are safe because eSlate machines aren't connected to the internet.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The 2018 primary election got off to a rocky start at about a dozen locations in Harris County.

The polling locations opened late, but voters are now able to cast their ballots after a delay Tuesday morning at a polling location in north Houston.

People at the Montie Beach Community Health Center on 915 Norwood couldn't vote due to a connectivity issue with the machines.

State Senator Sylvia Garcia was also at the center where she voted.

Garcia said dozens of voters were forced to wait because the machines were not up and running, a problem that took hours to fix.

"I am fine with new technology, but it's got to work. I hope that they tested it. I don't know that they did, but these are some of the questions we will be asking cause this isn't over. We will continue to ask the questions because what happened this morning is totally unacceptable," Garcia said.

The County Clerk's Office sent a technician to connect the machines, but officials said there were problems at another location.

WATCH: Voters encounter issues at the polls on Election Day

Hacking, though, was not one of those problems.

While a number of major companies have had to deal with hacks in recent years, Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart said the voting machines are safe.

Stanart said the eSlate machine is "superior" to paper ballots, where he says anyone with a pen or pencil could alter the vote.

The clerk said the machines are not connected to the internet, making them "unhackable."

"The operating system is so lame, you can't hack it," Stanart said, "because it's so single purposed, all it understands is a database with races, candidate's names, and a count associated with each one of them."