Tarrant County election results delayed by computer glitch

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Tarrant County’s election day was hampered by two different problems, including a computer malfunction that delayed vote counting Tuesday evening.

“Computers are great until they are not,” County Judge Glen Whitley told the crowd at a watch party for former Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, a candidate for the Republican nomination to succeed Whitley.

Whitley later told the Fort Worth Business Press that the computer problem would delay results from election day voting until early Wednesday morning.

Only results from early voting were available late Tuesday evening. In the contentious Republican race for Tarrant County judge, Tim O’Hare, former chair of the Tarrant County Republican Party and a former mayor of Farmers Branch, led Price in early balloting 57.3 percent to 34.8 percent.

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Whitley said he had been in contact with election officials as well as the manufacturer of the county’s voting machines in an attempt to solve the computer issue.

The voting machines were to be taken to the county’s election headquarters, where the accumulation of votes would occur, bypassing transmission from remote vote scanners. This process would yield official rather than unofficial results, Whitley said.

The delay in reporting results followed a problem earlier in the day when some county polling centers opened late because some election judges failed to show up. All polling places are required to have a Republican and Democratic election judge onsite, Whitley said.

“It’s the responsibility of the parties to provide them,” he said.

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The problem was resolved and all voting centers were open, Whitley said.

Whitley estimated that at least 100,000 voters cast ballots on Tuesday, with about 70 percent being Republican voters. Election day turnout might flip some early voting results, he said.

In statewide results, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott cruised to renomination, easily defeating seven challengers in the GOP primary. and will face Democrat Beto O’Rourke in the November general election. O’Rourke crushed four challengers in the Democratic primary.

“This group of people, and then some, are going to make me the first Democrat to be governor of the state of Texas since 1994,” O’Rourke told supporters at a victory party in Fort Worth. “This is on us. This is on all of us.”

In the high profile Republican primary for Texas Attorney General, incumbent Ken Paxton failed to corral 50 percent of the vote in a four-candidate race and will face state Land Commissioner George P. Bush in a May 24 runoff.

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This article includes information from the Texas Tribune and the Associated Press.

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