North Texas Daily

Republicans to blame for polling problems

Republicans to blame for polling problems

Republicans to blame for polling problems
October 30
00:04 2014

Early voting began this week on campus on the first floor of Sycamore Hall and will finish up Friday, Oct. 31. The voter turnout is steadily increasing, but the campus grounds are not resistant to the antics of American politics.

Historically, poll places have been stages for ploys of attention and last-minute lobbying efforts. Unfortunately, the Free Speech area between Sycamore and the neighboring science buildings has been the center of hearsay reports and fabrications of altercations all week.

On Monday, there was technical difficulty at the polling location, and it was rumored that voters were being turned away. On Tuesday, people spoke of physical altercations between opposing voters. And a mysterious letter that was said to have urged the Denton County Election Administration to shut down the early voting location roamed around Twitter. The vice president of the North Texas College Republicans Baileigh Poston said a man spit on her Monday when she was handing out fliers.

Can we just vote? Or is this not America?

A few details about the incidents were later discovered. Poston said she was spat on when the man was arguing with her — very close to her face — while he was eating yogurt. She said the contents within his mouth jumped out onto her. The technical difficulties did occur, but no voters were turned away. The letter remains a rumor (it was probably too big to ship). But this week’s controversy fits within a theme of this election cycle: change.

The vote to ban fracking has created tension this season, and that tension is where the supposed altercations developed. The Denton Record-Chronicle quoted Dianne Edmondson, chairwoman of the Denton County Republican Party, as saying, “This polling site is a mess,” referring to the UNT site.

She was among the only people with complaints about the polling place, speaking of the altercations. The report read that Edmondson cited those in favor of the fracking ban as responsible for the aggression towards those who were against it (Republicans).

It’s her duty as head of the county GOP to make sure her party gets as many votes as possible. And she has done her job well. County officials seem to like her, and she is one of the most recognizable faces at any event. Edmondson is the go-to source for anything Republican, with her professionalism and aptitude for engagement.

But with all that has been said about the polling place from others, her critical words make her party look like the troublemakers in this situation. The Democrats have maintained radio silence, giving the GOP the floor to make errors. Election week is not the time for controversy.

The Denton County Republican Party sent out an email last week with an article titled “Denton Vote May Drag the County Towards Dems!” It further strengthened the argument that the GOP has played a more defensive role in this election cycle.

In it, the author recognizes the potential for UNT students to impact the county vote. It reads that more than 11,000 new voters were registered in the county this go ‘round, and credits the registration drives at UNT and TWU for this. It goes on to encourage Republican votes, as to not be “overwhelmed” by “more-than-usual” Democratic Party voters.

This alarm by the GOP is a testament to the groundwork the UNT and county Democrats have done. While the GOP is the incumbent party here in Denton County, the Democrats did a better job this election season — and it showed this week with Edmondson’s actions.

Dalton LaFerney is the news writer for the North Texas Daily. He can be reached at laferneyd@gmail.com

Featuerd Image: Election yard signs sprouted up around Sycamore hall this week. Voters can go to Sycamore hall until Friday for early voting. Photo by Byron Thompson – Senior Staff Photographer

About Author

Dalton LaFerney

Dalton LaFerney

Dalton is the editor of the Daily.

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