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Tuesday, November 4, 2014 by Andy Sevilla

Some San Marcos voters turned away on Election Day

As many as a dozen San Marcos voters were kept from casting a ballot on Election Day due to power outages at polling places, according to the Hays County Elections Administrator.

Reports of somewhere between five and 12 voters were turned away at San Marcos Housing – Residents Office at 820 Sturgeon St., Elections Administrator Joyce Cowan told the Austin Monitor.

San Marcos Housing was the polling place for Precinct 120. Cowan said election workers reported turning away about five voters; however, later reports claimed anywhere from seven to a dozen voters were asked to leave.

Once reports came in, Cowan said she called election workers at San Marcos Housing and explained that backup batteries were powering voting machines, so voters could still cast a ballot.

San Marcos City Hall and Allenwood Homes Auditorium in San Marcos also lost power for about 30 minutes during lunchtime, though no voters were kept from casting a ballot, Cowan said.

In Kyle, Wallace Middle School, which is voting Precinct 419, 420 and 421, also lost power. Cowan said the school went dark at about 9:30 a.m. and remained without power for about an hour-and-a-half.

Cowan said voters were never refused at that location and continued to cast ballots in the dark, as voting machines were operated by backup batteries.

Buda City Hall, which is hosting a long ballot that includes national and state races, two Council seats, five bond propositions and three ACC propositions, among others, had only one functioning voting machine when the polls opened at 7 a.m.

Cowan said the other five machines at Buda City Hall were not working properly, and workers could not get them to connect.

While voters were never turned away in Buda, Cowan said some chose to leave, as they had to make it to work and were unable to wait in line. She said election workers explained to those waiting in line that technicians were on their way to work on getting the machines running.

Cowan said 66 people cast a ballot between 7 and 8 a.m. in Buda.

No voting time extensions were granted and all polls closed at 7 p.m. in Hays County, according to Cowan.

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