A $14 million centralized voting-records system used by 224 Texas counties has so many computer flaws that voter registration officials in many counties want the state to scrap it.
The system already has kicked registered voters' names off the lists during early voting that started Monday and forced others to wait as long as 10 minutes while the system verified voter registration. One of those left off the rolls was Prairie View Mayor Frank Jackson.
The system, intended to meet federal requirements for centralizing voter information statewide, has been plagued by so many problems since it began operating in January that some counties want out after the May 12 election.
"This particular system is just not working," said Galveston County Tax Assessor-Collector Cheryl Johnson, one of the most vocal critics of the Texas Election Administration Management System, or TEAM.
Said Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt:
"This new database is causing statewide voting problems. ... It's a bad technology system coming home to roost."
Candy Arth, president of the Tax Assessor-Collector Association of Texas, said many members are angry about TEAM. "They are ready to throw it out the window," Arth said.
Arth, carrying a sheaf of complaints from tax assessor-collectors, met with Secretary of State Roger Williams two weeks ago to voice her membership's complaints.
One of those demands was that the Secretary of State's Office take the heat for all the problems. "We are elected and the people are going to throw us out of office because you won't take the hit for this," Johnson said about the demand.