UPDATE 12:20 p.m.
Hours have been extended until 9:00 p.m. for the Warmack Library voting location. Ballots cast after 7:00 p.m. are provisional pending further review of statute and judicial authority, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) – Some voters in Dallas County on Election Day faced long delays early Tuesday after a judge failed to show up on time. As it turned out, that judge died in his home during the night.
This strange turn of events took place at the Betty Warmack Library in Grand Prairie, located near the intersection of Bardin Road and Robinson Road just south of Interstate-20. Without the judge, election officials could not open the polling location, leaving voters to stand outside in rainy conditions.
An alternative judge was called to the library. Once he reported to the scene, voting was able to begin. That was not until some two hours after the scheduled 7:00 a.m. start time.
The Elections Department and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins have requested an extension of the voting hours at the Betty Warmack Library as a result of the delay, “to ensure that all voters have the same opportunity to cast their ballot,” explained Jenkins.
Authorities in Grand Prairie did state, however, that the original judge appeared to have died of natural causes. His name has not been released at this time. A formal statement about the situation is expected later on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, it is now up to the American people to decide who will be the next President of the United States. The polls here in Texas are already open and voters across the state and the country are casting their ballots.
There was a record early voter turnout in Texas, so election lines on Tuesday are expected to be long. The Secretary of State’s Office said that Texas had 15.1 million registered voters going into Tuesday’s election. Almost 4.5 million Texas residents cast early ballots in the state’s 15 largest counties.
Earlier on Tuesday, both Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton cast ballots in their hometowns. Hundreds of onlookers watched as Trump, wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared arrived at their polling place at a school on Manhattan’s East Side. Hillary and Bill Clinton voted in their hometown of Chappaqua, New York. The Clintons greeted supporters waiting outside of the polling place after casting their ballots.
Starting on Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m., CBS 11 News political reporter Jack Fink will be online on CBSDFW.COM and on Facebook Live with election results. Republican Allen West and Democrat Domingo Garcia will share their insight along with the panel. We will also be taking your questions — so join in on the conversation!