A judge in Texas ordered that nine polling locations in Harris Country must remain open an extra hour, until 8PM local time.
The ruling comes after the sites failed to open this morning, remaining closed well past the 7 AM start time. The Texas Civil Rights Project and the Texas Organizing Project sued the county Tuesday afternoon, according to The Texas Tribune.
The following polling locations will have extended hours: Iglesia Trinidad (Precinct 0597), Metcalf Elementary (Precinct 0882), Evelyn Thompson Elementary (Precinct 0061), Hampton Inn Katy Fwy (Precinct 0055), Fiesta Mart, Inc. (Precinct 0541), John Marshall Middle School (Precinct 0046), HOAPV Community Building (0030), Lone Star College Cypress Center (Precinct 305 and 951), and Houston Community College Alief Center (Precinct 0428)
In their lawsuit, the groups alleged the county was violating the Texas Election Code by opening late; —state law declares polling locations must be open for 12 hours on Election Day.
The groups presented affidavits from voters affected by the delays, many of whom were unable to vote before work. The Texas Civil Rights Project and the Texas Organizing Project argued that those who were turned away in the morning may not be able to return before polls were set to close at 7PM.
In total, at least 18 polling locations in Harris County—where Houston is located—opened late or were only partially open at 7AM.
The Harris County sites were plagued with additional delays even after they finally opened. There were widespread reports of equipment issues, with poll workers reportedly still troubleshooting ballot machines as 8AM neared. Voters reported issues with signing in as well.
Harris Country is the most populous in the state of Texas, where a tight race is heating up between Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. The race has garnered national attention, with women betting on O’Rourke and Beyoncé even swooping in with an endorsement at the last minute.
Reports of obscenely long lines, malfunctioning equipment, and voter intimidation across the country have dominated Election Day. In Georgia—where another race of national interest is heating up between Republican incumbent Karen Handel and Democratic challenger Lucy McBath and—polling hours were also extended.