Elections 2022Local NewsEight Bell County Voting Machines Unavailable for Nearly Two Hours on Election Day

The Bell County public information officer asserted that the problem was with voter check-in and will not affect ballot balance or tabulation.
November 8, 2022
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For almost two hours on Election Day, a near fifth of Bell County’s voting machines were unavailable due to a time change issue after the end of daylight saving time.

Bell County Public Information Officer James Stafford spoke with The Texan about the issue. He explained that this morning, eight of Bell County’s 42 voting centers did not automatically update their clocks following the end of daylight saving time last weekend. The central computer prevented voters from checking in at 7:00 a.m. due to the time discrepancies.

According to KXAN, the eight affected sites were:

  • Belton Nazarene Church
  • St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church in Harker Heights
  • Temple College Pavilion
  • First Baptist Church of Moffat
  • First Baptist Church of Rogers
  • Boy’s Ranch in Ivy Gap
  • Triple 7 Fire Station in Killeen
  • West Bell Water Supply Office in Killeen

Stafford emphasized that the synchronization issue did not affect the counting of votes.

“We’ve no issues with balance, we’ve no issues with tabulation. It was a matter of we could not check people in at those eight locations, so that did result in delays,” said Stafford.

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He noted that staff were able to resolve the issue at some locations before polls opened, but two machines were still offline almost two hours into voting.

In the meantime, Stafford said that Bell County has provided information to voters about other available polling places as well as wait times on its wait time app.

He explained that staff have been deployed across the county to address the issue, and have requested approval from the Texas secretary of state to extend voting hours until 8:00 p.m. to compensate for the lost time in the morning.

“I understand there are people out there that have concerns about the security of the election,” Stafford said, “and we want to be as open and transparent as possible so that we can make sure people know that we are doing everything we can.”

Sam Taylor, assistant secretary of state for communications, confirmed to The Texan that Bell County is seeking a court order from a Texas district court judge to extend voting hours until 8:00 p.m. The extension would have to be county-wide.

Update: Judge Jack Jones of the 146th District Court of Texas has ordered that voting hours in Bell County be extended to 8:00 p.m.

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Rob Laucius

Rob Laucius is the Assistant Editor of The Texan. A Texas native, he graduated summa cum laude from Hillsdale College in 2022 with a degree in History and has interned for the U.S. House of Representatives and Veterans Administration. In his free time, Rob enjoys reading and writing, watching movies, and long walks around his neighborhood.