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Live updates: Roughly 800 mail ballots remain to be processed, Harris County Elections says

Several Texas-wide and Houston-area seats will be up for grabs.

HOUSTON — Even though unofficial Election Day results from polling sites were posted a little under 24 hours ago, Thursday morning election workers will be back at NRG Arena at 7 a.m. to count the outstanding mail-in ballots.

Workers estimate 800 ballots still must be counted before the deadline Monday. They started off the day with 1,200 to 1,400 ballots to process.

On Wednesday, two workers each spent the day duplicating and re-scanning an unknown number of emergency slot ballots. Those are paper ballots that print out with skewed selections that are unreadable by the scanners.

Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum said his office was working with the vendor to figure out the problem.

On top of that, they are still waiting on military and overseas voter ballots to arrive by Monday afternoon.


The polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday and were scheduled to close at 7 p.m. However, all 782 Harris County polling locations were open an extra hour on Election Day due to a court order that was filed over issues at the polls throughout the day.

All Harris County polling locations were open until 8 p.m.

Voters who got in line after 7 p.m. were able to cast provisional ballots but the Texas Supreme Court later said those votes would not be counted.

Election headlines

Latest updates

11 AM - Harris County Elections Administration released the following statement on the issue of the mail-in ballots:

"The Ballot Board, which is comprised of representatives from both political parties, was working around the clock to process mail ballots received throughout the early voting period and on Election Day. On Election Night, the board also began processing emergency slot ballots and completed that process by 4 p.m. on November 9. The Board then continued processing mail ballots. Once it became clear the Board would not be able to complete processing mail ballots by the deadline, we met with both the Presiding and Alternate Judge regarding an extension of the deadline. Specifically, we sought clarification from the Secretary of States Office on whether the deadline applied to mail ballots received late on Election Day. Roughly 800 mail ballots remain to be processed by the Ballot Board and we anticipate completing the count by end of the day today. We submitted our preliminary reconciliation form, with the understanding that we would submit a revised reconciliation to include the outstanding mail ballots."

5 AM Thursday - Even though unofficial Election Day results from polling sites were posted a little under 24 hours ago, Thursday morning election workers will be back at NRG Arena at 8 a.m. to count the outstanding mail-in ballots.

Workers estimate 1,200 to 1,400 ballots still must be counted before the deadline Monday.

3:00 PM - Harris County Elections administrator Clifford Tatum gave an update on Election Day results and said his staff is currently working to process emergency slot ballots that were dropped into the emergency slot bins at the polling locations on Election Day. 

He also said there are still between 1,200 and 1,400 mail-in ballots that need to be processed to finalize the total tabulation process. 

As far as the lack of paper ballots, Tatum said he is still trying to determine what went wrong because he was getting requests for paper ballots as early as 7:30 a.m. on Election Day, which is just 30 minutes after the polls opened.

Watch the full update in the video player above:

2:00 PM - Judge Lina Hidalgo addressed Harris County residents after being reelected for a second term. She called the win a "sweet victory."

"Unity prevailed over division in this election. Truth prevailed over lies," said Hidalgo. "I'm proud of that."

During her victory speech, Hidalgo called out several elected officials and even Mattress Mack for supporting her opponent Alexandra Mealer. 

"They came at us with everything," said Hidalgo. "Smears and attacks and the dirtiest political tricks, from statewide leaders, from the governor to the lieutenant governor, to the comptroller Glenn Hegar who continued to try and pin on us this lie of defunding when the math is clear...just in cahoots with unscrupulous politicians of both parties and I can think of one in particular who stood at commissioner's court and she's an attorney and she's supposed to uphold the law in this county."

Watch the full speech in the video player below:

11:00 AM - Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo thanked her challenger Alexandra del Moral Mealer for a hard-fought campaign and her military service.

"Yesterday, the people of Harris County chose optimism over fear & people over politics. I want to thank each & every voter who showed up to make their voice heard this election. I also want to thank Ms. Mealer for a hard-fought campaign & her military service. Onward!"

9:25 AM - Democratic incumbent Judge Lina Hidalgo will serve another term as county judge after Republican challenger Alexandra del Moral Mealer conceded the race Wednesday morning minutes after the final Election Day ballots were tallied.

"Thank you to all those who supported our campaign for good governance," Mealer said.

RELATED: Election results: Harris Co. Judge Lina Hidalgo re-elected after challenger Alexandra Mealer concedes

9:20 AM - Harris County Election said all of the Election Day ballots have been tallied, but the provisional ballots have not been counted at this time.

5:10 AM - All polls have been received and certified with 774 having been tabulated, according to Harris County Elections.

4:15 AM - Harris County Elections said the sixth batch of results is in and has been posted. All polls have been received with 778 certified and 604 tabulated.

12:19 AM Wednesday - Harris County Elections said it received 564 of the 782 polls from voting locations. Nearly 200 have been certified and 103 have been tabulated.

11:45 PM - The Harris County Central County station at NRG Arena is still waiting for the results from 226 polling locations, according to elections administrator Clifford Tatum.

10:22 PM - Beto O'Rourke speaks to supporters after results projected Gov. Greg Abbott's reelection.

RELATED: Beto O’Rourke has lost three races in four years. Is his political career over?

9:50 PM - Gov. Greg Abbott wins re-election bid over Beto O'Rourke, CBS News reports

RELATED: Texas Election Results: Incumbent Greg Abbott projected to defeat Beto O’Rourke in race for governor

8:45 PM - The Texas Supreme Court ruled the provisional votes cast in Harris County after 7 p.m. will not count. 

All Harris County voters who got in line after 7 p.m. will no longer be able to cast a provisional ballot. Those provisional votes that were cast after 7 p.m. will be separated from the Election Day votes and will not count.

8 PM - Harris County polls are now closed after a court order extended the opening of polling locations to 8 p.m.

Check out early voting results here. 

6:38 PM - Harris County Elections confirms an order has been issued to extend voting hours until 8 p.m. across Harris County's 782 polling locations.

Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum said those who get in line after 7 p.m. will be able to cast a vote but they will be using a provisional ballot instead of scanning their ballot into a machine. 

Tabulating provisional ballots will take a bit longer, Tatum said. Watch below

RELATED: Live Election Day coverage: Harris County polls to remain open until 8 p.m.

6:25 PM - Both the Harris County Democrats and Harris County GOP said polls are now open until 8 p.m. after a judge approved an extension of voting hours. 

KHOU 11 is reaching out to Harris County Elections to see exactly what this means for voters who want to take advantage of the extension. 

6:11 PM - Election workers at Shadow Forest Elementary in Kingwood said the polling site has run out of paper. They are asking voters to go elsewhere until more arrive. 

5:45 PM - Harris County Elections confirms 21 of 44 voting machines are down at NRG Arena. Polling staff is working to get it back online.

5:41 PM - A lawsuit has been filed to try and keep some Harris County voting locations open past 7 p.m.

5:31 PM - About a 45-min wait at the West Grey multi-service polling location. This polling site had an issue this morning with 20 machines down. It was resolved and no issues have been reported since. 

5:30 PM - Long lines reported at Briargrove Elementary. Voters said it's taking them longer than an hour to vote.

5:28 PM - Harris County Elections said some locations are running low on paper. Deliveries are being made to those locations. 

5:09 PM - The NAACP told reporter Grace White they have attorneys on the ground at polling locations where they have reports of machines not working, long lines and people being asked to go vote somewhere else. 

5:03 PM - Over 263,000 Harris County voters have been processed. 

5 PM - Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo joins Beto O'Rourke and other Democratic candidates at the West Gray polling site. 

4:40 PM - Some eateries across Houston are offering free food for Election Day.

The Original Ninfa's is offering a free order of queso. This is for both the Uptown and Navigation locations. Just make sure to bring your "I voted" sticker.

Popeyes is offering a buy one, get one free chicken sandwich. All you have to do is download their mobile app and order from there.

4 PM - Harris County is nearing one million votes, according to Harris County Elections

3:40 PM - The Melrose Park voting location at 1001 Canino Road has been closed for the time being after a city employee was electrocuted. The man has not been identified, but the Houston Fire Department said he was a Houston Parks and Recreation employee. 

2:49 PM - Several voting locations across Harris County are reporting more than 30-minute delays including:

  • West University Scout House – Clubhouse: 6108 Edloe Street 
  • T H Rogers Middle School Elementary Art Room – Orchestra Room: 5840 San Felipe Street
  • Briargrove Elementary School – Library: 6145 San Felipe Street
  • Bayland Park Community Center – Auditorium: 6400 Bissonnet Street
  • Humble Civic Center – Meeting room A, B, C, D: 8233 Will Clayton Parkway
  • Crosby Branch Library – Meeting Room: 135 Hare Road
  • Lone Star College Cypress Center – Room 106, Room 107: 19710 Clay Road
  • Spring First Church – Youth Center - Sanctuary hall: 1851 Spring Cypress Road
  • Seabrook Intermediate School – Practice Gym: 2401 N Meyer Avenue

To see the wait time at your desired voting location, click here

2:23 PM - Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum said the issue at the BarkerRipley voting location was a miscommunication between the judge and voting staff with getting the necessary supplies. He confirmed the presiding judge did not have the key to open the equipment to open the voting machines and there was a miscommunication that didn't allow the judge to get what he needed to get the polls open.

There were other reported issues at different polling locations, including machine problems. 

RELATED: Polling places plagued by issues across Harris County

2 PM - Over 175,000 Harris County voters have already been processed, according to Harris County Elections. 

12:50 PM - KHOU 11 reporter Michelle Choi captured an exchange between voter Tomaro Bell and Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum after delays were reported at the West Gray Multiservice Center in Montrose.

Here’s the exchange I captured b/w voter, Tomaro Bell & Harris Co Elections Administrator, Clifford Tatum — demanding to know what happened after 20 out of 60 voting machines were down this morning at the West Gray Multiservice Center in Montrose — that’s according to a Harris Co elections spokesperson. Bc of the issues & delay caused by what officials tell me were technical issues — some folks waited 2hrs to vote — others I’m told left w/o voting. The issues have since been resolved & the line is steadily moving but voters like Bell say what happened this morning is unacceptable. KHOU 11 News #electionday #harriscounty

Posted by Michelle Choi KHOU on Tuesday, November 8, 2022

12:30 PM - Harris County reports that more than 142,000 voters have been processed today.  

12:15 PM  -Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum said some polling judges had issues opening up their polling locations this morning.

“Which somewhat to be expected since there are 782 civilians, friends, and neighbors who are called upon to perform some technical task, as it relates to opening their machines," he said.

He added that the process is "smoothing out a bit."

In response to reports of voting machines not voting, Tatum said that there is a process for opening up the voting machines and setting them up properly. If the proper steps are not followed then it may cause them to go down.

"Our response is to then send out a technician to those locations to get those machines back online," Tatum said. 

Tatum said they have 160 technicians in the field. He also pushed for people who are waiting in line to check their website for waiting times at nearby sites.

"We ask for their patience," he said.

Astros victory parade

Tatum said when Houston ISD announced they were canceling classes and closing schools Monday for the Houston Astros World Series victory parade, they had to reach out to the district to make sure their election workers could access the campuses being used as polling places so they could set up on Monday.

However, he said a couple of polling judges were not able to access their campus sites until this morning.

Issues at Sunnyside polling site

Tatum said the delay at the Sunnyside polling location was not an issue of machines not working. He said the "election was inadvertently closed,” and once the election is "closed" they can’t open those machines back up.

New machines had to be then sent to the site.

Delays at West Gray Multiservice Center 

Tatum said the West Gray site is one of the biggest polling sites in Harris County, but said he was not sure what the issue was delaying voting this morning.

He did say there were technicians at the site. He added that the early voting process went well at the site, so it is unclear why there are issues today.

11:30 AM - More than 116,000 voters have been processed so far, according to Harris County officials.

10:30 AM - The latest update from the Harris County Elections Office shows that more than 88,000 voters have been processed.

However, elections officials reported long lines at at Lone Star Cypress Center, Prairie View A&M, Spring First Church and Nottingham Park.  

9:30 AM - The Harris County Elections Office reports that more than 60,000 voters have already been processed this morning.


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