If you believe some members of the Commissioners Court over in Dallas County, Steve Raborn must be the leader of a conspiracy here on the western side of the Trinity River.Raborn could only plead guilty to the charge. He's the Tarrant County elections administrator, and the conspiracy he is involved in at this very moment is an all-out effort to get people registered to vote if they want to cast ballots in the Nov. 6 general election for president and other high public offices.The deadline to register is Oct. 9.The "conspiracy" reference is to a discussion that was part of Tuesday's Dallas County commissioners meeting, according to news reports. Many people here in Tarrant County rarely see the Dallas County commissioners and their frequent squabbles and scandals as anything more than an entertainment break during local evening and 10 p.m. television news broadcasts.This week's discussion was enlightening in a "why are we going out of our way to register people to vote" kind of way. But, as usual, it showed that some of those folks really need to get a grip.Getting people to register to vote is a good thing because free elections are the foundation of our government.According to reports in The Dallas Morning News and elsewhere, Republican Commissioner Mike Cantrell accused Toni Pippins-Poole, the Dallas County elections administrator, of helping left-leaning partisan groups register voters with similar left leans.Cantrell referred to Pippins-Poole's help in registering high school students as part of National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday. He said he saw similarities between the logos used for National Voter Registration Day and that used for the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.Both logos are round, and their colors are red, white and blue. What else but a conspiracy might have brought that about? Apparently, Cantrell was dead serious.But a registered voter is only registered. Each one decides when and how to vote. And is it really a surprise that a logo for a voter registration effort is red, white and blue?Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, a Democrat who presides over Commissioners Court meetings, must have had his tongue way out there in his cheek when, according to the Morning News, he said, "So the Richardson PTA is involved in this conspiracy."It sort of went downhill from there. Republican Commissioner Maurine Dickey spoke against Pippins-Poole, Democratic Commissioner John Wiley Price spoke up for her, and Pippins-Poole said she was doing her job.At least back here on the right side of the Trinity, that would be correct. It is one of the responsibilities of the county elections administrator to register people to vote.Raborn is doing that. A news release from his office on Tuesday said his staff will be keeping the doors open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 6, 8 and 9 at nine county courthouse and subcourthouse locations across the county. They'll be taking last-minute voter registration applications. The application forms are available at city halls, libraries, post offices, the courthouse and subcourthouses.There's even time to call the elections office and get them to mail you an application. They're at 817-831-8683.Oops. Now someone's going to say the Star-Telegram Editorial Board is part of the voter registration conspiracy. Right up there with the Richardson PTA.
To get a voter registration application or check on whether your registration is still valid, call the Tarrant County elections office at 817-831-8683.