Denton County Fixing Early Voting Issues - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Denton County Fixing Early Voting Issues

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016)

    Amber Briggle said she was thrilled to see a long line at the Denton Civic Center Tuesday when she entered to cast her early vote, but once she got in the doors, a posting on the window cut some of her excitement.

    "I noticed that there was some signs posted on the window about 'photo ID required,'" said Briggle.

    As a member of the League of Women Voters and advocate, she said she made a note of the sign and checked into it when she got home.

    She found her suspicions were correct.

    Briggle said the signs posted at the polling place were out-of-date signs made for the state's former voter ID law.

    The old posters only list the seven accepted forms of photo ID but do not list the options for a voter that does not have a photo ID: options added after a July appeals court ruling that struck down the old law.

    Briggle posted a photo of the signs that a friend took to social media and immediately began calling Denton County elections officials.

    She said it was no quick process though, and it wasn't until Thursday morning that she heard the signs had been removed and replaced with updated ones.

    "It shouldn't have happened on day four (of early voting), only after several phone calls," she said.

    Denton County Elections Administrator Lannie Noble said it's been a busy week for his office.

    "I've been taking phone calls and trying to answer emails every day this week if someone's got concerns," said Noble.

    The week started with minor computer issues on day one that were quickly fixed.

    He said the issue with the signs was likely confusion as the law change came very late in the process and the new signs didn't arrive until just before the early voting process really got moving.

    "It appears in some random cases the old signs were put up and not the new signs," he said.

    All of this took place while the county experiences record early voting turnout that continued Thursday with 15-30 minute waits reported by some.

    Noble encouraged anyone who does experience an issue to tell workers and contact his office right away so they can make sure everything gets addressed.

    Briggle and the League of Women Voters are encouraging that as well, and she adds that if voters feel a problem isn't being taken care of, they should report it to Election Protection at 866-OUR-VOTE.

    "It may not be intentional, but the fact that it's happening at all, it needs to be addressed," she said.

    Denton County Republican Party Chairperson Lisa Hendrickson also weighed in on the matter, releasing this statement:

    "Upon hearing the concerns of my fellow Denton County Republicans, I contacted the Denton County Elections Administration. I have fully expressed the concerns raised by my fellow Republicans to the Elections Administrator and his staff. They have advised me all machines are now fully functioning. If you wish to early vote you can do so electronically at any polling location in Denton County. Those wanting a paper trail must request a PAPER BALLOT and can do so ONLY on Election Day, November 8, 2016 at their polling location, in their precinct in which they are registered to vote. If you have questions as to which precinct location you are required to vote in ON Election Day please visit www.votedenton.com or call 940-349-3200."

    The issues come as rumors of votes switching on ballot machines elsewhere in Texas have caught a lot of attention.

    Noble said Denton County has not experienced that.

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