At least one Arlington voter mistakenly received a ballot that included the Fort Worth school district’s $750 million bond package, a problem that was attributed to polling precincts crossing city and school district boundaries.
The voter, Star-Telegram reporter Sandra Baker, tweeted her concerns after receiving the ballot, saying: “I live/vote in Arlington. My electronic ballot this morning wrongly gives me option to vote in FWISD elex. #somethingswrong.”
She alerted the election judge at the polling place about the error.
Stephen Vickers, Tarrant County’s elections administrator, told the Star-Telegram that polling site in question, the Junior League of Arlington, 4002 W Pioneer Parkway # A, includes a precinct that is in the Fort Worth school district but has no registered voters.
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Still, he said the voter should not have received the ballot that included the Fort Worth school district bond election.
He said that electronic vote was canceled and the voter opted to vote with a paper ballot, which included ballot items for the Constitutional amendment election.
Vickers said the county’s elections office has not received any other calls regarding voters being given incorrect electronic ballots.
Because many of the school districts have boundaries that stretch into multiple cities — including Arlington, Fort Worth, Mansfield, Keller and Hurst-Euless-Bedford — it’s not unheard of for voters to sometimes receive the wrong ballots.
There are 694 polling precincts in Tarrant County at 357 voting sites, Vickers said. People who live in different cities or school districts can vote in the same location, but have different ballots, he said.
There are six voting sites in Arlington that include ballots with the Fort Worth bond on it. Out of those six locations, only two have voters registered to vote in the Fort Worth school district. Those two locations have 414 registered voters.
The Fort Worth school district also cuts into slivers of Haltom City, Kennedale and Benbrook.
Election staff shortages
Another issue on Election Day was that three polling sites opened late because election judges didn’t show up on time, Vickers said. The precincts that opened late were: 3196 (Northeast Courthouse in Hurst), 2318 (Gunn Junior High in Arlington) and 4060 (De Zavala Elementary in Fort Worth.
Vickers said one challenge they faced leading into the election was a lack of election staff — election judges and clerks.
“We had more than 900 people tell us no, ‘We can’t work this election,’” Vickers said, adding that they scrambled to get enough clerks to staff 357 voting locations.
“We were asking, begging and borrowing from everyone we knew to come out and work the polls,” he said.