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Some polling places in Texas, Alabama, N.C., Georgia to stay open late

Nine polling locations in Texas, two in Alabama, three in Georgia and two in North Carolina will stay open past their originally scheduled closing times Tuesday.

In Texas, the extended hours came after the Texas Civil Rights Project and Texas Organizing Project filed a temporary restraining order against Harris County in an effort to keep nine polling locations open an extra hour after delayed openings. The nine polling places include eight in Houston and the suburb of Katy.

According to the court filing, voter Deniz Alan began waiting in line at a polling location in Northwest Houston at 6:45 a.m. but was not able to vote until more than an hour later because the location was not open.

“I observed people leaving without voting due to the long line and delays,” Alan said.

Jessica Hill said she had to leave for work before her polling location had worked out technical difficulties with the sign-in machine. Hill says she is a teacher and had to leave at 7:45 a.m. after waiting for more than an hour at John Marshall Middle School in Houston.

In Alabama, polling places in Southlawn and Wares Ferry will stay open for an extra hour because of issues with voting machines, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

In Georgia, polls at three locations in Gwinnett County will remain open until 7:30 p.m. or later.

And in North Carolina, the state board that oversees elections approved a request to keep polls open in two locations and instructed officials to allow the public to see ballots counted that were unable to tabulated because of excessive humidity.

The state Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement approved keeping a precinct open in Columbus County for another hour and 10 minutes after it did not initially receive one of three ballot styles and had to turn away about two dozen voters. Another precinct at a high school in Gaston County is being kept open an extra 20 minutes because of a fire alarm at the school. Polls close in North Carolina at 7:30 p.m.

Allison Riggs, senior attorney for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and a coordinator at a vote protection center based in Durham, said the volume of calls coming in this year was as high as those received, but the types of problems encountered have so far been more typical and easier to address.

Riggs said the humidity problem, which is happening in about 15 precincts in Wake County, the state’s second most populous county, and several other central and eastern counties, should not alter any votes.

Riggs also sent a letter to the state board asking it to extend voting hours at a precinct in Winston-Salem and another in Cumberland County over confusion about signage and location, but as yet the board has not taken action on that request, instructing staff to review it.

Midterm election updates: Reaction and results

Democrats took the House, Republicans held the Senate, and key races around the country were still too close to call.

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