UPDATE: Voting Problems Strike Again in Austin

I decided to make another attempt to cast my ballot, so I returned to precinct 228. The second time was the charm, because I succeeded . The election judge filled me in on all the details of this morning’s fiasco. No one was able to vote for 30 minutes because they had to replace all of the E-Slate voting machines and start over from scratch. The first batch of machines they received had not been programmed for the election! The nonsensical propositions I encountered were indeed the result of machines in “training mode”.

The election judge in charge did an admirable job of coping with the Hart Intercivic E-Slate disaster that befell his precinct. He contacted the poor lady who had tried to be the first voter of the day. She was a teacher at a local elementary school who had left the polling place presumably because she could not make sense of the fake ballot she encountered. She returned to the polls and cast her ballot.

Many voters said they could not return to vote later, so the election judge improvised paper ballots by converting some oversized sample paper ballots into real paper ballots. He assured me he would turn them in at the end of the day.

The inexcusable difficulties I and other precinct 228 voters had this morning while attempting to cast our ballots were not caused at the precinct level. Indeed, the election judge did his best to make sure everyone got to vote. However, he could not be sure that everyone who was thwarted in the morning was able to come back and try again later, and WE THE ELECTORATE cannot be sure that the votes we finally cast will be counted as we cast them. The blame falls on the Travis County Clerk’s office. They should never have abandoned the old fashioned paper ballot.

Part One