Fort Bend County will extend early voting hours for the rest of the week in response to issues voters faced on day one.
On Tuesday morning, polling places got off to a rocky start after reported errors became common at multiple locations.
ABC13 received numerous calls and messages from viewers in the county reporting that they weren’t able to vote. Shortly before 9:15 a.m., a precinct judge at a Missouri City polling place said the issue had been resolved and people were able to begin voting.
SkyEye was over the area in Sugar Land, where people were outside City Hall and Smart Financial Centre.
Still, outside of the event center, Fort Bend County Judge KP George said that for at least one hour there was an error in their program, delaying voting.
“Definitely apologize for that inconvenience, and as I understand, the machines are back,” George said. “The Smart Financial where we are right now, it is up and running. We are back online, and I hope there won’t be any distractions for voting. Once again… I just wanted to say sorry for what happened and we will be doing an investigation. We will be holding those responsible for it accountable. What happened is not OK, not acceptable in Fort Bend County.”
George later released this full statement:
I am extremely disappointed with the technical glitches that riddled Fort Bend County Election machines this morning. Remember, people have died for our right to vote. Stay in line or come back at a convenient time – the future of our country depends on us. You have three weeks to vote early. Remember, we have also extended the hours on the last three days
Carmela Wallace, mother of late rapper Juice WRLD, opened up about her late son’s “struggles with addiction, anxiety, and depression” to mark World Mental Health Day 2020.
In the letter, Wallace writes of the “Lucid Dreams” star, real name Jarad Anthony Higgins: “I think he felt comfortable being honest with me because I never judged him. I recognized that what Jarad was dealing with was a disease and I know he truly wanted to be free from the demons that tormented him.
“As a parent, I believed early on and supported Jarad having access to counseling,” she admitted. “I encouraged him to always share his feelings.”
Juice WRLD died on December 8th, 2019 at the age of 21. His death was ruled an accidental overdose “as a result of oxycodone and codeine toxicity.”
In his memory, Wallace also revealed that she has established a new website, Live Free 999, in the hopes that it will be “a resource to those that are struggling”.
“My message to the parents and children is simple. You do not have to suffer alone. You do not have to be ashamed of your mental health struggles. There is help. There is a way out,” she continued.
“If we can help even one Mother and their son or daughter through our work here, Jarad’s death will have meaning and his positive, loving, creative spirit will endure.”
For more information on Wallace’s new venture, visit https://livefree999.org/.
A number of voting rights groups are calling for Florida’s voter registration cutoff to be extended after the state’s registration portal experienced outages in the hours before the deadline.
Some Floridians attempting to access RegistertovoteFlorida.gov found slow responses or error messages on Monday evening, with some reports on social media of people attempting for hours to register to vote.
Florida’s deadline to register in order to be eligible to vote in the 2020 general election was midnight Monday. Paper applications that were mailed in had to be postmarked by Monday.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the ACLU of Florida and the Campaign Legal Center sent a letter on Monday night to Brad McVay, the Florida Department of State’s general counsel, pushing for the deadline to be extended until midnight Tuesday.
“We are contemplating further action,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee, when asked for an update Tuesday morning. “We are prepared to use every tool in our arsenal to stand up for voters impacted.”
A spokesman for the Department of State, which manages the website, has not yet responded to two voicemails and an email sent Monday evening and Tuesday morning asking for more information about what happened with the website and whether the deadline would be extended.
Brad Ashwell, Florida state director of voting rights group All Voting is Local, said his organization was hearing reports well into Monday night that there were problems with the voter registration website. Ashwell said different groups are debating how long to ask for the deadline to be extended. He noted that there would
ORLANDO, Fla. – UPDATE: The website appeared to be back up again shortly before 10 p.m. Monday but users still reported glitches while trying to complete the registration process.
Original story below:
On the last day that Floridians have to register to vote for the November election, the state’s voter registration website has crashed.
A message on RegistertoVoteFlorida.gov at 8:30 p.m. Monday reads, “Web server is returning an unknown error.”
The page advises visitors to try again in a few minutes to see if the error is corrected.
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Gov. Ron DeSantis hasn’t addressed the crash on social media but Florida’s Secretary of State Laurel Lee tweeted shortly before 6 p.m. that the problem was due to a high volume of users on the site.
“OVR is online and working. Due to high volume, for about 15 minutes, some users experienced delays while trying to register. We have increased capacity. You can register until midnight tonight,” she wrote.
Since then, more users have complained of issues but Lee’s social media has been quiet.
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Among the responses are some asking that the deadline to register be extended.
“The site has been down for hours. Do the right thing and extend the deadline through tomorrow at noon. Increase capacity again, as people are still having issues. Anything else is voter suppression,” one woman tweeted.
In Central Florida, election officials said Monday that they saw a rush of residents who wanted to make sure they were registered in time to have a say in the upcoming presidential election.