Polling Confusion

The phones started ringing early this morning at the Smith County elections office, but they weren't your typical election day calls.

"We are receiving hundreds of phone calls," says Paula Patterson, the Smith County Elections Administrator.

A mistake printed in the Tyler Morning Telegraph caused the confusion. The paper printed the wrong list of polling places. As a result, 28 precincts were listed incorrectly, sending hundreds of voters to the wrong place to cast their ballots. The paper said the mistake was the result of a computer error. In a statement to KLTV, Jim Giametta, Executive Editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph said "Our computer system called up an older version of the voting locations and substituted it for the new one in today's paper. We reported the correct locations in Sunday's paper and last week. But today's list was an older version."

Many of the incorrect precincts were in North Tyler and highly Democratic voting areas. Smith County Democratic Chairman, Karen Roberts, fears the mistake may have negative repercussions for their party.

"I think alot of people are going to show up to vote somewhere and be turned away or go home and not vote," says Roberts.

After the election is over, the Democratic party says it may further investigate why and how the mistake happened. But the Republicans say they are not concerned with the mistake and feel it was just that -- a mistake.

"You are going to have your conspiracy theorists that say because it was a Republican primary runoff list and because it is northern prescient it is a Republican conspiracy, but it is not," says Nate Lambert, Vice President of the Young Republicans.

Most voters we caught up with say a conspiracy theory never crossed their minds. They just found the 'mistake' to be an unconvincing.

"I'm not mad, but I am a little disgusted," said one voter--but no one said it wouldn't keep them from voting.