GOP accuses Dallas County of partisan voter drive

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 21 at 8:34 AM

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."

Then there's the targeted recruits - high school students from 60 area schools - most of them urban, majority-minority schools.

"But when you seek out areas that have more intense numbers of one political party over another, like public schools, then clearly you have a political purpose," Emmert said.

The voter registration drive in Dallas County was spear-headed by Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole. Pippins-Poole was not available for comment.

While Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins did not organize the campaign, he rejects the allegation that the deck is stacked.

"I'm happy to work with the Republican party, the Democratic party, Libertarians and non-partisan groups to make sure we have people from the elections department available to them to register kids in the public schools and private schools and where ever we can find them," Jenkins said.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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