First reports see only minor problems at East Texas polling places - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

TYLER (KLTV)

First reports see only minor problems at East Texas polling places

A vote sign invites voters in at Tyler's City Hall. A vote sign invites voters in at Tyler's City Hall.

First thing this morning, lines could be seen at polling places across East Texas. In Gregg County they started with a few problems.

"I took out two voting machines replaced them, set up two new machines," said Katherine Neely, the Gregg County Elections Administrator.  This and a jammed label printer caused some lines.

Over in Smith County, a similar story.

"There were lines all over the place. They was lined up plum down below the sidewalk. I sat down here with my grandbaby for close to two hours and I finally got up and left and it was still past the sidewalk," said Leonard Baldwin.

At New Mountain CME Church, those waiting for the polls to open had a delay.

"This morning we came up here and we waited about 20 minutes. At 7 o'clock they opened up and we went in and our names were not on the book," said Patricia Huffman.

Elections officials say they only had a partial list of registered voters. They were on their cell phones with elections officials downtown to verify each voter. No one was turned away. Patricia Huffman and her husband left but came back.

"Everything is good now. This is the first time in 20 something years this has ever happened," said Huffman.

Smith County elections administrator Karen Chaney said their phones have been ringing off the hook.  

"The main calls we're getting of not knowing if they are registered or where they are registered," said Chaney.

Chaney also said some polling places haven't had much volume, possibly because of high early voting numbers.

"I was expecting like an hour or two hour wait. But I was only in there like 5 minutes," said Brooke Cutler.

"What was left was about 74,000 people left to vote. We were going to guessing the office somewhere between 40,000-45,000 thousand people may vote today. We really weren't sure," said Chaney.

Gregg county also said because of early voting, the polls weren't overcrowded.

"Election day lines were not as long as it could have been," said Neely.

Danielle Capper, reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

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