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Massive power outages caused by May 28 storms knocked out Dallas County voting centers

Tree Knocked down in North Dallas due to storm.
Severe storms knocked down trees, damaged homes and left more than 500,000 people in North Texas without power.

Massive power outages caused by storms knocked offline more than 100 Dallas County voting centers.

Some wondered if outages and bad weather affected May 28 runoff elections.

Dallas County judge Clay Lewis Jenkins ordered polling places to stay open two hours later.

William Wood, Missionary Victory Baptist Church election judge, said weather caused problems at his location.

“The storm came,” he said. “The elections department didn't call to check on us to see how we were doing. The lights went out. The wind had blew[sic] the windows out of the church and the lights didn't come on til 10:30 and no one checked on us.”

County-wide voting allows ballots to be cast at any location.

“If your polling place, that school down the street from your house, doesn't work, you can go somewhere else to vote," Jenkins said.

Based on early voting and when people turned out on election day, he speculates that people who wanted to likely had voted before locations lost power — and that others may have stayed home to deal with rotting food and property damage.

Lupe Valdez had trailed current Sheriff Marian Brown by a two to one margin during early voting.

Brown won with 67 percent of Dallas County votes.

Got a tip? Email Marina Trahan Martinez at You can follow Marina at @HisGirlHildy.

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Marina Trahan Martinez is KERA's Dallas County government accountability reporter. She's a veteran journalist who has worked in the Dallas area for many years. Prior to coming to KERA, she was on The Dallas Morning News Watchdog investigative and accountability team with Dave Lieber. She has written for The New York Times since 2001, following the 9/11 attacks. Many of her stories for The Times focused on social justice and law enforcement, including Botham Jean's murder by a Dallas police officer and her subsequent trial, Atatiana Jefferson's shooting death by a Fort Worth police officer, and protests following George Floyd's murder. Marina was part of The News team that a Pulitzer finalist for coverage of the deadly ambush of Dallas police officers in 2016.