There's been a lot of talk this election season about the specter of voter fraud, the idea that the polls will be flooded by illegal immigrants, household pets and dead people (all left-leaning constituencies), thereby cheapening real Americans' votes. There has been relatively little concern expressed about the accuracy of voting machines, which has been a hot button issue in the past.
Enter the North Texas Tea Party, which emailed supporters this morning with a somewhat breathless warning of problems with area voting machines during early voting. The group said it has received four "specific, reliable reports" in which voters attempted to cast a straight-Republican ticket but instead found themselves selecting all Democrats.
The reports came from Irving, Grapevine, Dallas, and the Hurst-Euless-Bedford area, but "(t)his problem COULD be limited to Dallas County (who replaced the longtime elections administrator with a Democrat lackey), but one cannot be sure."
As for what might have caused the problems, "We cannot preclude the slight possibility that this is a misinformation effort to drive down GOP straight voting in Dallas County, where Democrat control is at risk."
Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Wade Emmert was a bit more cautious in his email warning, being careful to point out that the reports of problems are unsubstantiated and comes from "an unsigned email being circulated among various groups." He continued: "Please don't let an unsigned email discourage you from voting a straight Republican ticket."
Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole, the "Democrat lackey" referred to by the Tea Party said today that, yes, she had received a complaint along the lines described by the Tea Party. It came from a single voter at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church (described by the Morning News' Gromer Jeffers as a "Republican Fortress."), and, after investigating the problem, workers determined that there was nothing wrong with the voting machine.
"It's more of an operator error on the voter really not understanding when you have straight-party voting," Pippins-Poole said. The voter in question caught the mistake before their ballot was cast, and they ended up voting the way they intended.
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.