Texas: Countywide voting, machine malfunctions account for Election Day confusion, clerk says | Southeast Texas Record
The confusion surrounding the last minute changes in election results had to do with some new laws in place and technical difficulties, county officials say. There has been controversy since the Nov. 4 General Election in Jefferson County, with a few Republican candidates going to bed thinking they were winners after most of the precincts had reported only to find Wednesday morning that they had actually lost the election. Chief Deputy County Clerk Theresa Goodness said watching the results based on precincts reporting can be misleading, because in Jefferson County voting is “countywide,” not limited to the precinct in which the voter resides. “In the 2013 constitutional amendment election , we changed to a countywide system. A voter can cast their ballot in any precinct on Election Day, just like in Early Voting,” Goodness said. Many voters aren’t even aware of that change, she said. So, for example, when it’s midnight and a candidate looks like they are ahead with 102 out of 106 precincts reporting, that really doesn’t mean every ballot has been counted for that precinct. So when Precinct 1 has turned in their ballots, that could mean there are ballots for different precincts in addition to Pct. 1, and Pct. 1 ballots could also be at other locations. Ballots from every precinct have to be turned in to accurately reflect an individual precinct’s votes, she said.