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Judge Extends Travis County Voting Hours

Updated: Tuesday, March 4 2014, 05:46 PM CST

Today local election officials went to court literally hoping to make up for lost time. Travis County voters lost four hours of voting time this morning after icy weather delayed the opening of polling sites.  

Jan Soifer, chairwoman of the Travis County Democratic Party says, "The result of that is that the 12-hour period that people normally have to vote has been changed and the polls automatically close at 7 p.m. unless a court orders otherwise."

And Judge Lora Livingston did exactly that, ordering that the polls stay open until 9 p.m.  

But under state law the votes cast after seven will be treated as provisional ballots.  

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir explains, "All those ballots will count, but they have to go through one extra step before we can include them in the totals and they won't be included in Election night."

The extra hours of voting will also put Republicans in a bind since they were planning on having their neighborhood precinct conventions tonight.  

Rosemary Edwards, chairwoman of the Travis County Republican Party says, "We are asking cooperation with the precinct chairs and with the (election) judges to take their materials to the receiving stations as soon as possible and then get back to conduct their precinct conventions."

DeBeauvoir says it could take up to five days to count those provisional ballots.

By Fred Cantu

Judge Extends Travis County Voting Hours

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