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Travis County explains why its website crashed in Texas primary election

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Travis County election officials explained Thursday why its website was briefly down during the Texas primary election on Tuesday.

The Clerk’s Office said in a press release that the new requirements of Senate Bill 1, an election overhaul bill, resulted in an influx of traffic to the site and caused its server to shut down and the site was down for approximately 40 minutes.

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SB1 requires video surveillance in all areas where ballots are stored and for them to be broadcast online. The clerk’s office said four cameras were working during early voting and on Election Day officials added two more cameras. These additional cameras created enough traffic to “overwhelm” the server and take the site offline.

“This was our first election running these required videos and we now know how best to handle the rapid increase in traffic and how best to maintain the website,” the clerk’s office said.

In response to the website crash, officials said they redirected traffic to the county’s main site, and by the first set of results on Election Day, the site was back on.

“Despite this initial temporary website delay that occurred, it did not impact the results being processed,” the clerk’s office said.

Travis County’s problems were far less problematic than Harris County’s. Election officials were able to finalize the results Thursday morning after drama between the state and political parties delayed the vote count.

Harris County Republicans allege receiving complaints Tuesday and Wednesday about voting machines not being delivered or being delivered late to precincts on Election Day, problems with the machines themselves and election officials were not sufficiently trained to mitigate the problems. A judge denied the Harris County GOP’s request to forfeit the results, and the count was suspended while the request was pending.