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DMN - Collin County judge says "vote center" system may have contributed to long lines on election day
November 3, 2010
By ED HOUSEWRIGHT / The Dallas Morning News
Commentary: Just for the record, vote times in excess of an hour were reported as early as 3 pm at high traffic locations such as the Allen Municipal Courts building, Christ United Methodist Church and Harrington Library in Plano, Renner-Frankford Library in Dallas and the Murphy Municipal building -- while other locations had minimal wait times.
It was not just last-minute voters who experienced long lines, as many Collin County voters who waited hours to vote, some outside in the rain, can attest. Unknown is how many voters were discouraged and left polling locations due to the long lines.
The Wait Time indicators on the County Elections website seemed to be updated for some locations, but not for others. At one point in the late afternoon, the indicator for Ford Middle School in Allen showed no wait when exiting voters were reporting waits of 90 minutes. A few miles away, voters at Suncreek United Methodist Church also waited 90 minutes as the online system showed a 15 minute wait.
Other than the indicators on the county website, there did not appear to be any system in place to advise voters in long lines that other nearby locations had significantly shorter lines. For example, while voters waited in a 90 minute line at Renner-Frankford Library in Dallas, lines were negligible at Rose Haggar Elementary School, half a mile away.
As frustrating as this experience was for so many, it was positively inspiring to see the long lines of voters so determined to cast their vote that they were willing to wait for an hour or more, particularly those who did so standing in the rain. They should be commended for their dedication, and we can hope that those who didn't vote at all will be encouraged by their example.
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