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Judge Not, Election Judge

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

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