Poll workers deserve caucus voice

Citing high voter turnout in the rest of the country and down-to-the-wire races for both major political parties, many Texas officials anticipated the higher-than-normal voter turnout in Tuesday’s primaries.

This led the Texas Secretary of State’s office to issue a memo Feb. 15 with a list of protocols for election judges and clerks to follow to deal with the flood of Texans at the polls.

However, one of those recommendations placed too much of an emphasis on efficiency, restricting election staffers from participating in what in this campaign season has become a crucial part of the Democratic primary process in Texas.

In a memo from the state’s director of elections to election administrators across the state, the office discouraged election judges and clerks from attending precinct conventions until ballots are delivered.

“If the precinct convention is being held at the polling place, the responsible election judge or clerk must complete the paperwork, finish making out returns and deliver the records and ballots to the custodian before he or she may attend the precinct convention,” according to the memo.

It certainly doesn’t make sense to risk impeding election judges and clerks from participating in the conventions to get the results out a little bit faster.

With all the flaws of the state’s Democratic primary system that were already at play Tuesday, there are plenty of other things to complicate the process.

It’s unnecessary to try to expedite the process if doing so risks excluding residents – albeit a very small group – from the precinct convention, which is a process that is strengthened by the presence of additional voices.

The paperwork can always be done later, but there’s no way to go back in time and add input from election judges and clerks back into the precinct conventions.