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Smooth run so far for voting machines with paper trail, officials say

Austin American-Statesmen logo Austin American-Statesmen 11/5/2019 By Heather Osbourne, Austin American-Statesman
a man holding a laptop: Kathleen Collins, 69, tries the new voting machines that Hays County is using in November's elections.  [LOLA GOMEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN] © LOLA GOMEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN/Austin American-Statesman/TNS Kathleen Collins, 69, tries the new voting machines that Hays County is using in November's elections. [LOLA GOMEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Voters had no issues or complaints while using new voting machines in Hays, Williamson and Travis counties Tuesday morning, according to local election offices.

Dana DeBeauvoir, Travis County clerk, said voters had only good things to say about the new touch-screen machines that offer voters Spanish and English translations and multiple font sizes.

"The comments I'm getting back from voters is that it's easy to use and they feel really good about the machines having a paper trail," DeBeauvoir said.

The machines now print out a card that acts as a receipt for voters to double-check their ballot. A locked safe connected to the machine stores the paper ballots, which can be used later for audits and recounts.

DeBeauvoir said only a couple of polling places in Austin opened late.

Polls at Murchison Middle School in Northwest Austin were delayed by about 30 minutes after workers struggled to get the electronic poll books up and running, she said.

The voting station at the Austin Area Urban League in North Austin was also delayed by a little over 30 minutes after the judge who was assigned to the location called in sick. A substitute judge was called in and voting began shortly after, DeBeauvoir said.

Election administrators in Hays and Williamson counties reported no issues with morning voting.

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