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Voters will have the option of casting a paper ballot in the Nov. 2 general election because officials do not believe the county’s voting machine vendor will be able to produce all the eSlate machines Harris County needs, County Clerk Beverly Kaufman said Friday.

In a letter to county elections officials across the state, Kaufman writes that Harris County is in “desperate need of election equipment. Despite a commitment from Hart InterCivic to manufacture and provide eSlate equipment to conduct the upcoming election, there is not sufficient time to produce enough equipment to meet the needs of Harris County.”

An Aug. 27 fire at a warehouse on Canino Road destroyed 10,000 electronic voting machines and accessories, the county’s entire stock of voting equipment. Arson investigators still are trying to determine the cause.

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