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 dayhttp://www.dallasnews.com/...
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 driveshttp://www.dallasnews.com/...
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:
by BRETT SHIPPhttp://www.wfaa.com/...
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.