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Polling place delays blamed on voting machine issues, supply shortages, missing key

Voters reported machine issues, but there have also been hours of delays and a lack of proper supplies at voting locations.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — Voters across Harris County reported polling issues early Tuesday morning and they continued into the evening. 

At NRG Arena, 21 of 44 machines were down, according to Leah Shah with the Harris County Elections Administrator's Office. 

Several spots also blamed voting machines for morning delays. 

Meanwhile, the election judge at BakerRipley on Navigation Boulevard said they were slow to open because they didn't have the proper election supplies dropped off, including the key to open voting machines.

"I'm frustrated," said one voter at the BakerRipley location. "I'm frustrated because you had 24 months to prepare for a major election and nothing should have been left untrue. And you weren't prepared. It's an insult to the citizens and it's an insult to being American. A simple ability to cast a vote and we couldn't do it at 7 a.m. because someone couldn't find the key."

A handful of voters told KHOU 11 that they were waiting as early as 7 a.m. and that they'd seen more than 200 people come and go without voting.

Voters at the Tracy Gee Community Center also reported being sent away to vote elsewhere because of machine problems.

RELATED: Election Day live updates: Delays reported at West Gray, Sunnyside and BakerRipley polling sites among others

"We were told it's because the machines hadn't been delivered," one voter who didn't want to be identified said. "So they were still trying to set up. I'm so angry and I'm sad. I've seen people leave. People who said they can't come back to vote."

Harris County Election Administrator Clifford Tatum said election workers are at every location in the county.

"Our election workers at every location are updating the wait times on our website," Tatum said. "So the voters are seeing the wait times in real-time."

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One voter confronted Tatum after 20 of the 60 voting machines were down at the West Gray Multiservice Center in Montrose, according to a spokesperson.

"The last thing you want to do is turn away voters," Tomaro Bell told Tatum. "And for that to not be ready when you had Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday...to make sure we were good, that has never happened."

If you have any issues at the polls, text KHOU at 713-526-1111.

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