Dallas, TX’s Pippins-Poole to Retire after 2020 Election

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Dallas County, TX election administrator Toni Pippins-Poole, who oversees voting in one of the Lone Star State’s largest jurisdictions, will retire after the November 2020 election. FOX4 has more:

Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole is planning to leave in November.

Toni Pippins-Poole submitted a letter announcing her retirement effective Nov. 30. County commissioners met Thursday morning to discuss her replacement…

Pippins-Poole submitted her retirement letter Monday evening to take effect after the presidential election.

Pippins-Poole cited advances in the city’s use of election technology, though some of those decisions had come under fire in recent months:

She wrote: “In the past 8 years, we have accomplished a lot in involving the use of technology in the election process.” She said she wants to “focus on my family and safety of my health. “

Pippins-Poole has been under increased scrutiny lately.

In January, [it was] reported that the county spent $6 million on electronic poll books that Pippins-Poole said could not be used securely and needed to be replaced. 

In January, Pippin-Poole’s first assistant, Robert Heard, showed FOX 4 the county’s new empty elections warehouse. It was not built with the proper equipment to store the county’s new electronic voting equipment. Heard resigned one week before super Tuesday.

On Election Day, 44 thumb drives were unaccounted for, leaving 9,149 ballots initially uncounted, which the county later resolved.

Although the resignation is timed for after Election Day in November, there is some concern that the election may not actually be over by then:

SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson said it makes sense that Pippins-Poole would wait to retire until after the presidential election.

“We have a very big election coming up and a tremendous number of mail ballots,” he said. “It will put great pressure on our system.”

And with the election in the middle of a pandemic, Jillson expects there will be far more mail-in ballots. That means there could still be election issues swirling when Pippins-Poole retires No. 30.

“I hope we have all the ballots counted by then. It will be a slow process,” he said.

The county has already begun a search for Pippins-Poole’s replacement:

The Dallas County Elections Commission plans to launch the search for an administrator quickly while letting applicants know they would not be expected to start until after the presidential election.

It’s never ideal when an election administrator resigns in an election year, especially one as fraught as this one. Here’s hoping Dallas County can stay the course over the next several months and find a replacement sooner than later. Best of  luck to Ms. Pippins-Poole in both her retirement and over the next four-plus months … stay tuned!

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