DALLAS - A lot was at stake, but only a few Texans wound up voting in Tuesday’s primary elections.
An estimated 10% of all registered voters had turned out, as of early voting, to decide who would be on the ballot for the Republican and Democratic parties in November.
Dallas Public Library’s Oak Lawn branch had one of the longer lines in Dallas County on Tuesday evening. The average time to get in and out was 30 minutes. Workers said that turnout was steady for the afternoon hours and into the evening.
The Oak Lawn branch was one of more than 400 polling locations in Dallas County open Tuesday.
People in line said it’s important to keep in mind the significance of elections, even during midterm primaries.
"I think we’ve found out pretty quickly that all of these elections are important and it’s important to turn out," said Ashly Pleasant.
Lines, overall across the county, weren’t that long and pretty much nonexistent. As of 5 p.m., 67,000 had cast ballots across Dallas County.
Machine access problems in Lake Highlands
Voting machine issues temporarily shut down operations at New Mount Zion Baptist Church in the Lake Highlands area of Dallas.
The machines were locked in a container that poll workers could not get open.
New Mount Zion's pastor said it was disturbing for a long-time voting location not to be open to community members for any amount of time.
"I started making phone calls to city to the county and saying, listen, people are trying to vote, but they can’t because the machines are locked. I know a county the size of Dallas, the city the size of Dallas, here it is the 21st century, we cannot have these kinds of problems because a cabinet is locked, and the key will not work," said Pastor Tommy Brown.
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An election judge was eventually able to unlock the containers, but not before about 25 voters had to be turned away to other locations.
Poll workers didn't say if there had been a pre-election day machine review and practice.
The voting location was able to open for any Dallas County residents who wanted to cast their vote.
Two Denton County sites stay open late
Two Denton County polling sites allowed voting two hours past the cut-off time because of equipment delays.
Voting for the Republican primary election continued until 9 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in The Colony and Castle Hills North Community Center in Lewisville.
The Texas Secretary of State's office told the county they could not release any Republican voting results until the last voter cast their ballot at those locations.
The county says electronic poll book data needed to be reset.
Denton County’s elections administrator says the other 129 polling sites were not impacted.