Dallas County faces shortage of election judges for Super Tuesday

Dallas County Democrats are accusing the Republican Party of failing to recruit enough elections judges to work the polls on Super Tuesday.

The chair of the Dallas County Republican Party told the county on Monday that he cannot agree to use a temp agency to staff the polls at a higher cost ($19) than the state covers ($12).

With just one week to go, the county says Republicans still need to find 266 more election judges to cover every vote center and Democrats still need to find 86.

“It's very deliberate,” said Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is a Democrat. “I stand by what I said, it's sabotage.”

Price accuses Republicans of trying to force the closure of some polling locations on Super Tuesday, which have increased in number with the creation of countywide voting centers.

“We spent $30 million on new equipment, we promised we would not compress or close any polling places, access in this county will not be an issue,” Price said.

But Dallas County Commissioner J.J. Koch, the lone Republican on the commissioner's court says that accusation, isn’t true.

“Patently false, patently false. We said we would come up with 230, we have 200 on paper, and we have those,” Koch said.

Koch says there are simply far too many voting centers for a primary election.

“A number of these right on top of another in northern Dallas,” he said.

One location had two polling stations across the street from each other.

“There has never been a primary in Dallas County where we have had 468 locations, just not the case, most of the time close to 200,” Koch said.

The chair of the Republican Party, who was not available for an on camera interview, said by text that the party knew they could consolidate certain locations, based on historical voter turnout data. But he said that was not acceptable to democrats.

Dallas County Democratic Chair Carol Donovan said that no vote center will close.

“Democratic Party said if they are not going to do their job and furnish enough election judges, then by golly, we're going to step up for the benefit of all voters and we will conduct the primary election alone if we have to,” Donovan said.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says anyone who is interested in serving as an election judge should reach out to the county elections department.