Paper ballots expected to slow Harris County election results


Jeremy Desel/11 News

Posted on November 2, 2010 at 12:34 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 2 at 12:44 AM

HOUSTON -- It may take longer to count the votes on Election Day, Harris County election officials warned Monday night.

It's been five years since ballots were delivered in locked boxes, and this year it will be a trip back in time after a massive fire destroyed the majority of the county's election equipment. 

 Paper ballots became a key part of a quick backup plan.

Sixty percent of the votes have already been cast  and the early vote results will come just after the polls close at 7 p.m.

"Then we are going to have to wait a while for the precinct judges to come in. They should be slower than normal," said Harris County Clerk
Beverly Kaufman.

The evolution of eSlate voting in Harris County led to a shorter night for the ballot counters.  They eliminated the need for the delivery and counting of paper ballots, and with the microchip, results are delivered in bulk to several secure locations.

Instead, this year it's back to a central-counting center at Reliant Center.  That's because it is likely both paper and electronic ballots will be delivered by precinct judges.

At each polling place there will be two options: paper or plastic.  Officials are pushing the electronic machines that voters have become accustomed to here.

“I am resigned to the fact that there are going to be some people that just want to do it that way; and we have bought and paid for them and they are certainly welcome to do so," Kaufman said.