A state district judge has ordered Harris County to extend voting hours across the entire county until 8 p.m. following delayed polling place openings this morning, a county official said.
The order to keep polls open an extra hour came after the Texas Organizing Project sued the state’s most populous county, citing issues at numerous polling locations that opened more than one hour late Tuesday. Many Harris County voting locations also experienced voting machine malfunctions that caused delays and temporary closures throughout the day.
“These delays have forced countless voters to leave polling places without being able to vote,” the lawsuit read.
The county did not oppose the request, according to a spokesperson for the Harris County attorney’s office.
The delayed openings violate 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. The county has previously been forced to extend voting for failure to open on time. In 2018, a judge similarly ordered the county to keep nine polling locations open for an extra hour.
Harris County — home to nearly 2.6 million voters — allows voters to cast their ballots at any polling place in the county.
Earlier in the day, a state district judge also ordered polling places to remain open an extra hour in Bell County in central Texas.
This article was written by ALEXA URA of The Texas Tribune. The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. This article originally appeared at:https://www.texastribune.org/2022/11/08/texas-harris-county-polls-close-8-pm/