Judge Not, Election Judge

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

A good Friend of Unfair Park who cast his ballot today witnessed something today that ain't ... what's the word I'm looking for ... oh, yeah, legal:

My elderly neighbor was voting with her husband, and neither of them knew anything about the Railroad Commissioner nominees. As they're filling out their ballots, she turned and asked the man standing behind her who he'd recommend. He hemmed and hawed for a minute and then quietly said something like "If it was me, I'd choose the first one [Art Hall]." Then as I was leaving, he was the one who gave me the certificate to caucus tonight. I asked if he was a volunteer or something, and he said he was the election judge.

I'm sure he was just trying to be helpful, but he really should have known better. Maybe he thought if he couched his advice in a hypothetical ("If it was me"), it wasn't illegal.

Hard to tell the legality of that from a glance at the section of the Texas Election Code dealing with election judges and clerks. So Unfair Park called the office of Bruce Sherbet, the Dallas County Elections Administrator, and discovered what we knew already: "Election judges cannot tell voters how to vote." --Robert Wilonsky

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.