Politics
2:01 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Long Lines at Some Austin Polling Stations

Some people are waiting two hours or longer to cast their ballots in Austin today, according to reports we’ve been logging on Twitter, while at other locations, there are no lines at all.

When you go vote, be sure to take a picture of the line outside the polling station and let us know how long you waited, so we can share the information.

“There are long lines at the grocery stores, most elementary schools, UT and the [Travis County] courthouse. Highland Mall reports short lines and they have 30 voting stations,” Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir posted on her Facebook page late this morning. She told us that she is in constant communication with election judges monitoring the polls.

Outside the Flawn Academic Center at the University of Texas campus, lines stretched around three sides of the building. 

“Even though the lines are long, it's definitely worth it,” said undergraduate student Valeria Estrada, a first time voter who was waiting in the line. “It's a representative democracy. You have to get your voice heard. I don't know. It's just important in being a good citizen.”

All polls in Austin are open until 7 p.m. The state’s chief elections officer, Secretary of State Hope Andrade, encouraged voters not to be deterred by lines.

“If you stop by a polling place after work and you are in line at 7 p.m., you will still get to vote as long as you are in line by 7 p.m.,” Andrade said.

Despite the waits, DeBeauvoir says voting is going well and there are no major problems in Travis County. In Galveston, a district court judge ordered polls to remain open until 8:54 p.m. because of delays this morning, the Galveston Daily News reports.

Technology is giving the public an unprecedented glimpse at voting behavior. In the last presidential election in 2008, the hottest smartphone on the market was the iPhone 3G, now considered antiquated by today’s rapidly improving technological standards. Now, 45 percent of American adults own smartphones across a wider variety of brands, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Among people aged 18-29, smartphone ownership is at 66 percent.

The growing absorption of smartphones fuels social media use, and Pew reported today that 22 percent of registered voters had already announced their vote on a social networking site. 

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