A state district judge has ordered Harris County to extend voting hours at nine polling locations that failed to open on time this morning. The order to keep nine voting locations open an extra hour until 8 p.m. came soon after the Texas Civil Rights Project and the Texas Organizing Project sued the county over delays at those polling places. The groups alleged that the county was violating the Texas Election Code because polling locations that opened after 7 a.m. would not remain open to voters for 12 hours on Election Day as required by state law. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday afternoon, the two groups noted that the nine polling locations across the state’s biggest county “not only failed to open at 7 a.m., but remained closed until well after 7 a.m.,” the plaintiffs wrote. Voting was further delayed at some polling locations because of equipment issues, including sign-in and voting machines that weren’t working.
… Early morning voters at those locations faced delays Tuesday morning and, in some cases, were kept from casting ballots before needing to head to work, according to affidavits filed by several Harris County residents.
Among them was Jessica Hill, a local teacher who had to get out of line at 7:45 a.m. because she needed to be at work by 8 a.m. Hill had arrived at Marshall Middle School by 6:30 a.m. and was the first person in line to vote. But poll workers were locked out of the building until 6:47 a.m.