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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

Super Tuesday recap: Biden wins big in Texas amid long lines, poll issues

On a voting day marred by issues at the polls, the race with the biggest spotlight -- the Democratic presidential primary -- was very close.
Credit: Demond Fernandez, WFAA

On a day best known as Super Tuesday — because so many states vote on the same day — voters in Texas and 13 other states cast their ballots for presidential candidates, U.S. Senate candidates, U.S. representatives and judges ahead of the general election in November. 

The day was marred by issues at polling places, with voters across the state reporting long lines, hours-long waits, and problems with machines. In Houston, some voters waited in line late into the night to cast their votes.

Click here for the latest election results

Did you have problems at your polling place? Email news8@wfaa.com to let us know.

RELATED: Super Tuesday hot races in North Texas: Cornyn and Granger win, Hegar headed to runoff

RELATED: 14 states voted on Super Tuesday. Here are the results so far.

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Wednesday

1 a.m.: Joe Biden has won Texas' Democratic presidential primary. The state has 228 delegates at stake, the second biggest prize of the night.

More than 2 million people had already voted in Texas even before polls opened for Tuesday's primary. The state, which has long been reliably Republican, is growing increasingly blue amid changing demographics in Texas.

Biden held a rally in Dallas on Monday night, where he showcased two of his newest supporters and former rivals, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Beto O'Rourke. Pete Buttigieg endorsed him earlier in the night in Dallas as well.

A resurgent Biden scored sweeping victories across the country in addition to Texas, revitalizing a presidential bid that was nearing its end just days before.

Winning Massachusetts, Arkansas, Minnesota, Tennessee, Alabama, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Virginia, Biden has now edged out a lead in the race. Bernie Sanders won California, Utah, Vermont and Colorado.

RELATED: Joe Biden overtakes Bernie Sanders to win Texas' Democratic presidential primary

Tuesday 

10:32 p.m.: Chris Putnam has conceded to Rep. Kay Granger in the race for the U.S. Rep. District 12 seat, according to WFAA's Marie Saavedra.

10:26 p.m.: Democratic candidate Kim Olson told WFAA's David Goins she’s hopeful to get past 50% + 1 threshold in the race for U.S. Rep. District 24, but is prepared for a May runoff with Candace Valenzuela. She said she's still watching vote totals closely -- especially in Dallas County -- where only the early vote is in.  

10:15 p.m.: According to WFAA's Jason Whitely, Dallas County is having trouble reporting the Democratic presidential race by senatorial district, which is required to give each campaign their delegates. Dallas County is now having to count them manually, delaying results. Officials say it should be completed in about half an hour.

10:09 p.m.: Mary "MJ" Hegar took the stage in Austin to speak about John Cornyn.

"You know what y'all, it's time," she said. "As a combat veteran, I'm concerned about the values of this country that are under attack. And as a working mom, I'm terrified about my kids' future if we leave it in the hands of people like Senator John Cornyn."

"Your time is up. It's over. You're fired," she said of Cornyn.

9:23 p.m.: In Grapevine, Beth Van Duyne, with only early vote totals in, stopped short of declaring an outright GOP victory - but said the totals so far “show a united Republican vote.”

9:19 p.m.: Senator Royce West talked with a group of family and friends as they continued to watch election results come in from across Texas.

"I’m nervous as all get-out," he said. "I feel confident we will be in a run-off."

9:05 p.m.: Mary “MJ Hegar” arrived at her election night watch party in Austin to a loud round of applause.

She told the crowd she’s not ready to make a speech or statement yet, but said the numbers look good so far.

"But the number I’m most excited about is turnout,” she said. 

She mingled for about five minutes, then left to privately watch more returns with staff and family. 

She said she’d see the crowd again in about an hour. 

Credit: Teresa Woodard, WFAA

9 p.m.: Senator John Cornyn spoke to energized supporters at a Travis County watch party in Austin. 

After a strong showing in the primary, he will easily move on to the general election in November. Cornyn is seeking his fourth term in the United States Senate. He referred to his campaign as a “grassroots machine." 

Cornyn was joined in Austin by his wife and daughter and wrapped up his evening in Austin after a two day, ten-city statewide tour.  

8:45 p.m.: Rep. Kay Granger currently holds a 20% lead over Chris Putnam for the U.S. Rep. District 12 seat. 

Earlier in the night, she cited absentee and early voting numbers out of Tarrant County that proved her lead and told her supporters: “I hope this day ends with me staying in this position.”

In Austin, Mary “MJ” Hegar has arrived at the building where her watch party is being held. She’s watching returns with family and staff in another room and will likely emerge to talk with supporters around 9 p.m.

Her lead in the Democratic primary remains quite strong. She’s likely headed to a runoff. But the question that’s yet to be answered is who her runoff opponent will be.  

8:37 p.m.: Republican Beth Van Duyne spoke to supporters from her Grapevine campaign headquarters Tuesday night as early voting totals had her at 74% of the vote for the U.S. Rep. District 24 seat.

"This has been a hard election – we have five people in the ballot," she told a room full of supporters. "All of your input and fighting has made all of this so worthwhile.

“We’re going to start talking about November before we know it.

“I think what you’ve seen is people want a fighter, somebody with a backbone, they want somebody with spirit and they want somebody with a voice. A loud and articulate voice that will be able to represent our values, not just in the area, but throughout the country.

“You are going to have a very loud voice when I get to Congress.”

In Austin, early statewide results show Mary “MJ” Hegar with a lead among the 12 candidates facing off in the U.S. Senate Democratic Primary. 

Supporters are filing in to her watch party in Austin.

Hegar is an Air Force veteran. She did three tours of duty in Afghanistan and was shot down during one of them.

A Vietnam veteran in the crowd of supporters said her military record is one reason he’s behind her.

Hegar is proud to show off the tattoos on her arm, and while the crowd waits for her to appear, some of them are putting on temporary tattoos that say “MJ Hegar Texas.” 

Credit: Teresa Woodard, WFAA

8:16 p.m.: Polls closed in North Texas a little over an hour ago, but many voters are telling our digital team that they are still in line at the Kiest Recreation Center, having waited in line for more than three hours.

Slow-moving lines have been reported in other areas across North Texas as well.

8:08 p.m.: According to the Associated Press, President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn have been renominated by Texas Republicans as all primary polls across the state close. 

7:44 p.m.: In Austin, Mary “MJ” Hegar made a few phone calls to voters today, but she spent most of the day with her two young sons. Her election night watch party begins at 8:15 p.m. 

She’ll stop by the state Democratic Party headquarters on her way to her watch party in downtown Austin, WFAA's Teresa Woodard said. 

Members of her campaign staff say they’re feeling confident. Polling has shown Hegar appears to be well-positioned to make a runoff in May. 

7:36 p.m.: Former Irving mayor Beth Van Duyne has arrived at her campaign headquarters in Grapevine. 

She has a commanding lead in the early vote in Dallas and Denton counties for the GOP race for Texas' 24th congressional district.

In Austin, John Cornyn's campaign team spoke to the Travis County Republicans. 

They said Cornyn has already raised more than $12 million for his re-election campaign, hired Gov. Greg Abbott's campaign manager to run his campaign and that his message is that he wants Republicans to win in November from "the White House to the courthouse." 

7:30 p.m.: Texas United States Senator John Cornyn arrived at the Travis County Republicans watch party at The County Line barbecue restaurant in Austin just after 7 p.m. 

Cornyn spent the last two days on a statewide tour working to get out the vote before the primary. He is expected to easily move on to the general election.

The Travis County Republicans are also at the restaurant and right now the senator is enjoying some food before speaking to the crowd later in the hour.

Credit: Alex Rozier, WFAA

7:20 p.m.: Rep. Kay Granger is at her watch party at Blue Mesa restaurant in Fort Worth’s West 7th district awaiting the first round of results. WFAA's Marie Saavedra is covering that race.

Credit: Marie Saavedra, WFAA

7:12 p.m.: The crowd is beginning to grow at the Travis County Republican watch party in Austin. Many of the attendees are focused on Austin area races, but later in the hour, the focus will shift to the United States Senate.

Senator John Cornyn’s team says he is expected to arrive later in the 7 o'clock hour and speak sometime around 8 p.m.

Credit: Alex Rozier, WFAA

7:00 p.m.: Polls are now closed for all Texas voting locations in the Central Standard Time Zone. Remember, if you are in line before 7 p.m., you can still vote. 

In Collin County, several polling locations have wait times of greater than 40 minutes. 

Elections administrator Bruce Sherbet told WFAA's Sean Giggy they’ve had no problems today. 

Sherbet said he estimates 70,000 people voted today. More than 83,000 people have already cast their ballots in early and mail-in voting alone in Collin County, according to unofficial results from the county's website. 

In Tarrant County, Election Day voting numbers have now overtaken early voting numbers.

Credit: Tarrant County Elections Administration screenshot

And in Dallas, the Oak Lawn branch of the library is seeing some massive lines:

5:43 p.m.: Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted at 5:18 p.m. that as of 5 p.m., 128,409 people have voted in Dallas County.

In Collin County, an election administrator told WFAA's Jobin Panicker that if voter turnout nears 30%, it's a good day.

At the Mansfield Subcourthouse, 440 Democrats and 468 Republicans had voted as of 5:30 p.m.

5:37 p.m.: The line to vote is stretching outside Samuell-Grand Rec Center in East Dallas this evening. The polling center is busy, but the line is moving fast.

Credit: Demond Fernandez, WFAA

In Austin, WFAA's Alex Rozier has arrived at the Travis County Republican watch party. United States Senator John Cornyn is expected to arrive at the event at 7:30 p.m. and address the crowd around 8 p.m.

Cornyn is seeking his fourth term in the United States Senate. He is expected to breeze through the primary and advance to the general election in November. Cornyn’s campaign has been aggressively fundraising, already raising more than $12 million.  

The incumbent senator said he learned a lot from the Cruz-O’Rourke race in 2018. He is especially focused on winning the suburbs as he moves closer to the general election in November. 

Credit: Alex Rozier, WFAA

4:36 p.m.: WFAA's Teresa Woodard is in Austin at the camp for Democratic Senate candidate Mary “MJ” Hegar. Hegar did not have any organized campaign events today. 

She took part in early voting and volunteers with her campaign said she spent Election Day gearing up for tonight’s watch party with supporters at The Riveter, a coworking space in Austin founded by women.

Campaign volunteers started getting The Riveter ready Tuesday afternoon.

Credit: Teresa Woodard, WFAA

4:06 p.m.: In Collin County, WFAA's Jobin Panicker said the average wait time to vote is 10-15 minutes, but so far there have been no issues as of 3:30 p.m. 

The Democratic turnout is 230% higher than 4 years ago, elections administrators told Panicker. 

They said that number is not a total surprise, but is higher than expected.

Credit: Jobin Panicker, WFAA

3:30 p.m.: Senator Royce West is spending the afternoon greeting voters at polling sites across Dallas and Fort Worth. West is in a crowded Democratic race for U.S. Senate. He told WFAA's Demond Fernandez he is very optimistic about this primary election.

Credit: Demond Fernandez, WFAA

Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Theresa Daniel is one of several candidates greeting voters outside Samuel-Grand Rec Center. She told WFAA's Demond Fernandez she is also checking into voting issues she is hearing about at different precincts.

Credit: Demond Fernandez, WFAA

Elsewhere, WFAA's Ariel Plasencia talked to both the Tarrant County Republican Party's leader Rick Barnes and Tarrant County Democratic Party Precinct Chair Heather Buen. 

Both of them said the reason why there are seven Republican booths and five Democratic booths at the Mansfield Subcourthouse is not because of the census, as Joe Williams, an elections judge, originally stated. 

Instead, this discrepancy is based on voter history at that polling location. Buen said that the Tarrant County Elections Administration Department decides how many booths there will be at each location for each party. 

Buen also said that the Democratic precinct chairs voted to keep the voting booths separate because they were concerned that their voters might be subjected to potentially hostile election judges.

Barnes said that Tarrant County Elections Administration Department went to the Democrats first, who voted not to share the machines.

12:50 p.m.: Almost six hours after polling locations opened, officials with the Dallas County Elections Department acknowledged there were "longer than usual wait times" at some locations.

Spokesperson Lauren Trimble attributed the long lines to several factors: high voter turnout, technical or logistical issues and a shortage of election judges.

"Some polling locations only have one Election Judge that is running both primary elections," Lauren Trimble said. "If a voter goes to an election site that has just one judge, the voter needs to tell the Judge which election they are voting in (Democratic or Republican)."

Trimble also said that while there have not been any system-wide issues with elections equipment across the county, individual locations have had some issues that elections staff are responding to as they arise. 

Voters can vote at any location this year, since Dallas County is a part of the Countywide Polling Place Program.

They can also check wait times at each location using a map from the department. 

A green dot on the map represents wait times below 15 minutes, yellow shows voters are waiting 15 to 30 minutes and red means a wait longer than that. 

As of 1 p.m., North Dallas High School and St. Andrews Presbyterian Church were marked with red wait times, Dallas Fire Station No. 1 had a yellow wait time, and all other locations were green. 

However, people at multiple locations were reporting wait times upwards of one hour, which were much higher than shown on the map.

12:10 p.m.: Dr. David Alkek told WFAA's David Schechter he had waited one hour and 15 minutes at Fretz Park Branch Library in Dallas before he had to give up because he’s out of time.

Now, he said, he will not be able to vote in the primary. He's upset about the situation.  

Austin Black told Schechter he waited two hours to vote at the same location. He described what sounded like a lot of technical glitches, saying machines that identify if someone is registered to vote did not appear to be working properly.

Credit: David Schechter/WFAA
Austin Black holds up two fingers to represent the two hours he had to wait to cast his ballot in the 2020 primary elections at Fretz Park Library in Dallas on Tuesday, March 3.

 

11:45 a.m.: Voters at Fretz Park Branch Library in Dallas had to wait about an hour to cast their ballots and were being told to go to another, nearby location.

Many had decided to keep waiting at the library, however.

Credit: David Schechter/WFAA
Voters wait in line outside Fretz Park Library in Dallas on Tuesday, March 3. They were told it would take about an hour to cast their ballots around 11:30 a.m.

11:30 a.m.: WFAA Reporter Ariel Plasencia spoke with Joe Williams, the presiding judge of the Mansfield Subcourthouse polling place, about the difference in machines. 

He told WFAA the number of machines they have is based on population data from the 2010 U.S. Census.

He said they have seven booths for Republican voters and five booths for Democratic voters.

The U.S. Census does not, however, ask respondents for their political affiliation. 

A long line could be seen snaking outside of the polling place. That was before voters were divided into separate lines inside based on party.

Credit: Ariel Plasencia/WFAA
The line outside the Mansfield Subcourthouse polling place around 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 3. Joe Williams, presiding judge of the polling location, said the long lines could be attributed to the fact that this is the first year voters can choose any location to vote at.

Williams attributed the long lines at the polling place to the fact that this is the first year that voters don’t have to cast their ballots in a specific precinct. Instead, they can vote anywhere they want. 

192 Democratic voters & 153 Republican voters had voted as of 11:30 a.m. As of  9:30am, 119 voters had cast Democratic ballots, while 77 had cast Republican ones.

11 a.m.: Is it normal for poll workers to split up Democrats and Republicans into separate lines to vote? 

That's a question many voters had Tuesday morning.

The simple answer is yes, WFAA's Senior Reporter Jason Whitely explained.

It's not uncommon for that to be the case during primaries in Texas, because voters must select which party primary they want to vote in and then get a ballot for that race.

They then often have to use a machine that has already been dedicated to one party or the other, as the ballots are inside the machines some counties use. 

There might be longer lines for Democrats this year than Republicans due to the fact that there are bigger races in contention for that party, like the presidential nomination and the race for U.S. Senate in Texas.

Some voters were reporting a higher number of machines being dedicated to Republican voters than Democrats. That could be due to poor management by the county, or because a county has a higher number of Republican voters overall, Whitely explained.

And it's important to remember that in Texas, the parties put on the primaries using county-owned voting equipment.

Tarrant County Elections tweeted out that they offered to have the parties share equipment, but the parties did not agree to do so. Now, officials with the county's Elections Administration Department say they wish the parties had taken their advice.

This November — after the parties select their candidates — every machine will have the same ballot and the elections will be run by the counties and Secretary of State.

10:45 a.m.: WFAA has confirmed 3 of 4 machines are still down at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church on Skillman Street in East Dallas.

Several voters left before casting their ballots and said they planned to come back in the afternoon. 

9:30 a.m.: Voters continue to report long lines and delays across Dallas and Tarrant County. 

WFAA's Chris Lawrence was one of them-- it took him over an hour to cast his ballot at Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church on Skillman Street in East Dallas.

"Walked in at 8:13, out at 9:17," he said. 

Officials at that location told him the county was sending a technician to the location, but no one had shown up by the time he left. 

Two of the three machines at the location were faulty, according to officials there. 

Southside Community Center in Tarrant County also had issues with its internet service, prompting voters to leave en masse because they could not cast their ballots, voters told WFAA. 

The internet had been restored after about 25 minutes. 

8:30 a.m.: Voters across North Texas are taking to social media to report a number of issues at polling places across Dallas County and other areas. 

Dozens of voters have said machines are down, locations did not open on time or polling places did not have proper equipment.

Some voters have been waiting in lines to cast their ballots for almost an hour.

WFAA's Chris Lawrence was one of them-- he is at Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church on Skillman Street in East Dallas. 

He said several voters had given up for the morning, though all of them told him they would come back later. 

Officials at that location told him the county is trying to rush over two machines to the location, as two of the three machines there are faulty.

WFAA has reached out to the Dallas County Election Commission, but has not yet been able to get a response. 

Notice anything unusual or problems at your polling place like long lines? Email news8@wfaa.com to let us know.

7 a.m.: The polls have now opened! 

But do you know where to go vote?

To find your polling place, you can check your county's elections website. Visit the Texas Secretary of State's website here to find yours.

You will also want to see if the county you live in participates in the Countywide Polling Place Program (CWPP). If your county does participate in CWPP, you can vote at any polling place in the county. If your county does not participate in CWPP, you can only vote at the polling place assigned to you.

Polling places across Texas will be open until 7 p.m. 

Remember, you'll need to have previously registered to vote and have certain forms of ID with you to cast your ballot, whether that's something like a Texas Driver's License or a U.S. passport. For a full list of acceptable forms of ID, click here

If you need a ride to get to the polls, there are a number of organizations offering to take you to go vote for free. Read more here

Have any more questions about the voting process or want to see what will be on your ballot? Check out WFAA's voter guide here

RELATED: Texas is an open primary state and here's what that means for Super Tuesday 

Reporters Teresa Woodard, Demond Fernandez, David Schechter, Jobin Panicker, Marie Saavedra, David Goins, Ariel Plasencia, Lauren Zakalik, Alex Rozier and Jason Whitely contributed to this story.