SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Officials are working to fix a technical issue with voting equipment that has affected some runoff ballots for the Smith County Precinct 4 Constable’s race.
According to a joint statement from Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran and Elections Administrator Karen Nelson, during the first few hours of the first day of early election voting for the July 14 primary election, the Smith County Elections Administration Office became aware of a technical issue affecting certain Republican Primary runoff ballots relating to the contest for Precinct 4 Constable.
The statement said after an initial investigation with the election equipment and software vendors, by 12:30 p.m. on Monday, the Elections Administration Office instituted a process change at each of the five early election polling locations as a temporary fix to the technical issue. According to the Smith County Elections Administrator, she anticipates that a permanent fix to the technical issue will be in place prior to polls opening on Tuesday, June 30.
The statement said at this point, the precise number of affected ballots is unknown, but the issue appears limited to a handful of precincts. Additionally, the technical issue did not affect the Democratic Primary run-off race, nor did it affect the county-wide run-off race for the 114th Judicial District Court Judge position.
The statement said the problem was first reported by voters who alerted poll workers that their ballot did not contain the run-off race for Precinct 4 Constable. As always, voters are encouraged to closely monitor the content of their ballot and report any discrepancies before casting their ballot and before leaving the polling location. Procedures are always in place to allow for resolution of any issues at the polling location, including the casting of a provisional ballot.
“You know this county has spent over a million dollars on these election machines. They spend thousands of dollars a year employing the elections office to make sure that these things are programed correctly for our elections and the response I got was that it is up to the voters to make sure that their ballot is correct,” said Josh Joplin, incumbent Pct. 4 constable.
The Smith County Elections Administration office does not anticipate that this will be a continuing issue for the remainder of the run-off election. However, anyone who cast their vote before 12:30 p.m. on Monday, June 29, and who believes that their ballot incorrectly omitted the Precinct 4 Constable race is encouraged to contact the Elections Administration Office and make a report.