PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – While Dallas, Tarrant and Denton County polling locations appear to be sailing smoothly this Election Day, some Collin County stations encountered computer hiccups early.
“One hour and a half to wait in line,” said voter Sandy Chao. “So I’m going to another place.”
At three of the county’s 72 polling locations, poll workers reportedly set the voting card encoders as voting machines, prompting a rush-hour backup around lunchtime. Lines stretched outside Clark High School, Christ United Methodist Church in Plano and the Allen Fire Station.
“There were three election officials that mistakenly set those to work as a voting machine, which meant they couldn’t prepare the voters’ access cards,” said Sharon Rowe, Collin County election official.
The county sent 47 computer technicians to fix the problems as quick as they could to get voters out of the long lines that often snaked into rain-drenched parking lots.
“It’s my right, and many people can’t do that around the world,” said voter Mike Whittam.
Early voter turnout was high in Collin County, as more than 90,000 cast their ballots before Election Day. By 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, more than 14,000 had voted at Collin County polling sites despite delays.
The most publicized race on the ballot is for the governor’s office, between Republican incumbent Rick Perry, who is running for an unprecedented third term in office, and Democratic challenger Bill White, the former mayor of Houston.
Perry spent his last day campaigning in Dallas Monday. The governor spent Tuesday in Buda, a small town about 15 miles south of Austin. His campaign said they wanted something different than a “typical hotel ballroom” and booked the Exotic Game Ranch, where moose, deer, buffalo and longhorn wandered freely.
Perry will not make any public appearances Tuesday until the evening’s party.
White has spent the last few days crisscrossing the state, attempting to build momentum and narrow a gap that some polls classify as a double-digit lead in Perry’s favor.
On Tuesday morning, White made a quick stop at a Houston middle school before heading to San Antonio. After that trip, he spent the afternoon in Dallas with voters. White said his hectic Election Day travels has prompted a surge of support.
“We’ve seen a lot of support,” he said, “people who are ready for a new governor.”
White is now back in Houston. The avid cyclist is expected to go for a bike ride before spending the evening at a hotel watching election results with his family.