Local NewsControversial Dallas County Elections Administrator Will Retire After General Election

Facing criticisms after the loss of 9,100 votes and a mistake that cost taxpayers $6 million, Toni Pippins-Poole will leave office this year.
July 6, 2020
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Dallas County’s elections administrator announced last week she will retire after the general election.

Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole announced the retirement in a letter to the county’s election commission, and the commission on Wednesday began discussing the logistics of replacing Pippins-Poole.

Dallas County Commissioner J.J. Koch called on Pippins-Poole to resign in March after 44 thumb drives, amounting to about 9,100 votes, were lost on election night.

Democratic State District Judge Emily Tobolosky ordered a partial recount, which was performed eight days after the primary election.

In Dallas County, voters cast ballots on machines that print a physical ballot and store votes electronically.

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Tobolosky’s order required the county to tabulate the physical ballots on which the missing votes had been cast.

While the snafu did not change the outcome of any contested races between the two major parties, Koch characterized the events as a result of Pippins-Poole’s poor planning.

“She has consistently overpromised and under-delivered,” Koch said at the time.

FOX 4 News uncovered other issues prior to the election, including the Dallas County Elections Department’s purchase of polling software that couldn’t be used securely with existing equipment. 

The mistake cost Dallas County taxpayers $6 million.

The county would like to hire a first assistant for Pippins-Poole who can ultimately replace her when she retires on November 30.

Pippins-Poole’s prior lieutenant, Robert Heard, resigned the week before the primary election.

Pippins-Poole served as Assistant Elections Administrator from 1988 until 2011, when the Dallas County Commissioners Court appointed her Elections Administrator.

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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan in Dallas. During the academic year, he coaches high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.

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