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Compare and contrast the two articles in this morning's DaMN (Dallas Morning News to you non-Texans), one about a voter registration drive at Dallas-area high schools on National Voter Day, and the other about the bitching and moaning by the two GOP members of the five-member Dallas County Commissioners Court that this was a "partisan effort".  Oh, and no support, endorsement, or other positive acknowledgement of registering new voters by the Commissioners Court was appropriate, in their view.  Though it is the County's responsibility, through its Elections Administrator, to register voters and keep the rolls.

Just a couple of excerpts from the articles, and some thoughts about this beneath the orange fog blob of voter suppression.

The two articles, with relevant parts (sorry, DaMN has subscriber firewalls).  I searched the headlines on Yahoo, and got the full story without the firewalls:

Dallas area high school students register on national voter signup day
Students (from left) Amairani Ayala, Jennifer Chantaca and Roger Camacho registered to vote Tuesday at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center. At the table providing assistance was Jan Sanders, widow of federal judge Barefoot Sanders.  

Throughout 60 area high schools, volunteers from the Dallas County Elections Department helped the newest crop of voters register as part of Tuesday’s National Voter Registration Day.

Students left the registration tables smiling, wearing a badge signifying a new step toward adulthood — a red and blue “I’m registered” sticker.
The students were mostly oblivious to the furor at Dallas County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, where two Republican commissioners charged that the voter registration effort leaned partisan and favored Democrats.
“The first step is to register, the next step is to vote. But that’s just the beginning of the journey to become more civically involved in the community and in the public policies of the nation,” said Jan Sanders, an 81-year-old volunteer with the League of Women Voters.

Sanders is the widow of U.S. District Judge Barefoot Sanders, known for overseeing the case that desegregated Dallas ISD. One of Townview’s schools is named for the late judge.

And then this:

GOP commissioners chastise Dallas County elections official for aiding high school voter registration drives

Republican Dallas County commissioners on Tuesday accused the county’s top election official of playing partisan politics by helping groups set up drives at high schools for National Voter Registration Day.

The county elections department put the League of Women Voters in contact with about 60 Dallas-area high schools where the group held registration drives Tuesday. The county also publicized the locations.

Republican Commissioner Mike Cantrell said Tuesday the elections office undermined its nonpartisan reputation by promoting an event whose national partners include several liberal-leaning groups. They also said high school students overwhelmingly vote Democratic.

“We can hide and disguise all kinds of stuff,” said Cantrell. “Everybody knows what’s going on here.”

Maurine Dickey, the other Republican commissioner, said the elections office’s involvement could further erode public trust lost last year after Democrats on the court ousted longtime elections administrator Bruce Sherbet, who was highly respected by both parties.

Democratic commissioners said the county’s low voter registration rates show the need for programs aimed at getting more people to the polls. Democratic County Judge Clay Jenkins, who presides over the court, said registering people to vote is not the same as advocating for a party or official.

“We want elections decided by the power of ideas, not profiling,” Jenkins said.
Commissioners discussed the matter at Tuesday’s court proceedings, but are not scheduled to take any action on it.

I also recommend the readers' comments on the DaMN site, for those who would like insight into Dallas County voters' views.  You may be pleasantly surprised that this rubs many folks the wrong way.  

One example: "What is wrong with encouraging our citizens to exercise their constitutional rights to vote? Anyone against this is supporting voter suppression. Voting is the foundation of our democracy. These Republicans are way off base on this one."

And this one: "Do the two commissioners have a problem with military recruiters regularly coming to the same high school campuses to recruit the kids? Do the commissioners realize the voter registration drive was publicized and was open to the public so home schoolers could come and register to vote?"

Let the record in the local press also show that the GOP Commissioners were getting worked up about this last week, before National Voter Registration Day:

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Updated Friday, Sep 21 at 8:34 AM
•    Dallas Commissioners register complaints over student voter drive

DALLAS -- For top Dallas County officials, National Voter Registration Day, scheduled for next Tuesday, seemed the perfect opportunity to register high school students to vote in the upcoming presidential election. And while most agree enlisting young voters is a good thing, not everyone approves of the method being used.

The Dallas County Republican party officials say the voter initiative is little more than a Trojan horse for democrats hoping to lock in young voters.

Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Wade Emmert said there's a lot wrong with how decidedly Democratic Dallas County officials are going about it -- linking up with a non-profit outfit whose recruiting website and theme icons not only look suspiciously like President Obama's, but whose partner list reads like a who's-who of liberal politics.

"You have labor unions, you have the ACLU, you have the AFL-CIO,” Emmert said. “You have various advocacy groups. The vast majority of partisan organizations on their webpage are democrat groups."

Oh No!  The County Elections Administrator is helping register 18-year-olds to vote!  And some of the County Commissioners are griping about it.

This is the effort of the newly-appointed Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole.  He is a Democrat who succeeded his GOP predecessor, Bruce Sherbet, appointed by the previously GOP-dominated County Commissioners Court.

Elections have consequences, including registering voters.  Deal with it.

And may I remind everyone, that local elections have consequences, both local and statewide and national.  Witness GOP efforts to suppress new voter registration in a county of 2.4 million people.

Hide and watch the results in Dallas County Texas come November 6.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 09:59:59 AM PDT

  •  I see you diaried this before I could (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mikeconwell, craigkg, nomandates, Floande

    Caught this last night, couldnt believe the audacity of this man, so if the league of women voters was at a private school he would have no problem with it?

    Reach for the sky, Touch the sky, Revive a hope, For Mankind!

    by Greatwyrm on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 10:24:07 AM PDT

    •  You forgot the other one: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates, Floande

      "Maurine Dickey, the other Republican commissioner".

      Two of the five are GOP, one of each gender.  I thought Dickey's comments were at least as reprehensible as Cantrell's.

      We report, you decide.

      Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

      by tom 47 on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 12:34:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I helped students register voters at my school (6+ / 0-)

    before I ever chose a party, and continued to do it until I retired.  In NYS, Participation in Government is a senior course, and in the most active P.I.G. classes, students not only do voter registration, they sit in courtrooms and government meetings, analyze taxation and are active politically in local issues which may affect their communities.

    I would be shocked that there was no registration drive in a school, especially in an election year!  This is the best year to teach how the electoral college functions as well, with it ties to the census and redistricting.  

    Please donate to Okiciyap food pantry. . If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

    by weck on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 10:40:55 AM PDT

  •  Sounds to me like good ol'fashioned... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    craigkg, nomandates, Floande

    ...voter suppression attempted by the GOP commissioners. I'm wondering how these anti-democracy GOP commissioners can be removed from office because of their un-American efforts aimed at suppressing the youth vote.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Gandhi

    by alaprst on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 10:41:11 AM PDT

  •  weck and alaprst, you both make good points (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, nomandates, Floande

    Of course, registering to vote should be a part of any high school senior civics education, weck, and active participation in govenmental functions (sit in on local council meetings or courts) is a great way to learn and get first-hand exposure and experience.

    Per your suggestion, alaprst, why not have the senior civics teachers send the students to County Commissioners Court to observe, then write a paper about what they see?  Maybe their thoughts could be read into the record at "open mike" time, or excerpts published by the local newspaper or other internet media outlet.  That ought to engage those new voters,I'll wager!  And maybe make the Commissioners think a bit before they speak so derogatorily about newly-franchised voters.

    The electorate may well speak its voice.

    Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 10:55:12 AM PDT

  •  Saw that this morning (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, nomandates

    Kind of like that the DMN gave a pretty sizable number of column inches to the positive coverage of the young people retgistering and their reactions to taking that step. Only a few dead enders are going to fail to see the irony of the juxtaposition of the two stories.

    My primary reaction was - well, why aren't conservative groups also sponsoring National Voter Day? And furthermore, why aren't Republicans considering that if young people tend to vote Dem maybe there is something wrong in the issues/policies that Reps are conveying?

    " can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

    by Catte Nappe on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 11:03:08 AM PDT

    •  Here's another on-line comment on the DaMN story (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA, Catte Nappe, nomandates, Floande

      about the GOP Commissioners  griping about the registration drive;

      If Democrats were trying to prevent Republicans from voting, these demagogues would be screaming bloody murder. I can recall in my younger years Texas Republicans complaining that one party rule was evil. We now have one party rule in Texas -- and yes, it is evil.
      Just local readers giving their points of view!

      Non-Texans, please note.  Thanks.

      And peace.

      Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

      by tom 47 on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 11:20:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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