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District of Columbia

New D.C. Election Leaders Face Big Stage in September, November Votes PDF  | Print |  Email
District of Columbia
By Dan Seligson,   
July 17, 2008
Fixes in place to address primary woes, but inexperience still has some nervous

This article appeared in the Electionline Weekly and is reported here with permission.

Election officials around the country have been bracing for record turnout in the presidential election. In the Nation’s Capital, however, departures and replacements in the upper echelons of election administration – and lingering concern over voting troubles during last February’s primary – has activists and residents fearing more problems at the polls.

In May, Alice Miller, executive director of the Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE) for the District of Columbia for over a decade, took a new position as chief operating officer for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 

That same month, William O’Field, the board’s spokesman and poll worker coordinator, trainer and recruiter also announced his retirement from the division. O’Field had been with the board for more than a decade. The city’s registrar job is open, advertised since April.
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Welcomes House Passage of the D.C. House Voting Rights Act PDF  | Print |  Email
District of Columbia
By NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund   
April 20, 2007

Theodore M. Shaw, LDF Director-Counsel and President, praised the House of Representatives' passage of the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007. The vote on Wednesday, April 18th represents an important step toward resolving the long-standing problem of vote denial for D.C. residents. This landmark legislation would permanently provide District of Columbia residents with a meaningful voice in the Congress.


"The House vote was a historic step aimed at addressing a form of disfranchisement that disproportionately affects significant numbers of African Americans," said Ted Shaw, LDF Director-Counsel and President. "This bill will extend the right to vote to D.C. residents who have, for too long, been unable to meaningfully participate in our nation's
political process."

Norton and Davis Introduce DC Voting Rights Act PDF  | Print |  Email
District of Columbia
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
January 19, 2007

Legislation that would give District of Columbia residents a vote in Congress for the first time ever has been reintroduced, bolstered by momentum from last year's lame-duck push and Democratic statements of support by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader Steny Hoyer.


Cosponsors Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (pictured at right) and Congressman Tom Davis (pictured below) reintroduced the Fair and Equal House Voting Rights Act (DC Voting Rights Act) today with expectations that the bill will move quickly through the legislative process.


The DC Voting Rights Act received two committee hearings last year, one resulting in a 29-4 bipartisan mark-up and the other establishing unanimous support for voting rights for the citizens of the nation's capital.


Rep. Davis, the original author of the bill, was the chair of the Committee when he worked with Norton for four years to get Republican and Democratic agreement on the current bill to give one vote to the mainly Democratic District of Columbia and another to the largely Republican state of Utah. The bill also would permanently increase the size of the House from 435 to 437 members. 


Davis first brought the idea to Norton after Utah narrowly missed getting a seat following the last census and failed to get the Supreme Court to rule in the state's favor. Davis said, "It is simply inexcusable that residents of the District of Columbia, the Capital of the Free World, the city that symbolizes our grand experiment in representative democracy - that these citizens do not have a representative with a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, the People's House.  We got further than anyone ever had before last session, and this time, we're going to push it over the top.  It's a matter of fairness. It always has enjoyed bipartisan support. Speaker Nancy Pelosi was a cosponsor last time, and we're hoping for her continued support."

Voting Irregularities Discovered in Ward 5 Primary Election Results in Washington, D.C. PDF  | Print |  Email
District of Columbia
By DC Statehood Green Party   
October 23, 2006
DC Statehood Green candidate, in routine review of votes after primary, uncovers discrepancy: only 89 votes recorded for 140 Statehood Green voters, with 51 votes apparently 'lost' - Reliability of certified results in Statehood Green primary for Ward 5 seat on City Council in question - 40% of Republican votes apparently lost from the Ward 5 vote count; Statehood Greens urge investigation by D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics

An investigation of voter rolls and votes in the September 12 primary election in Washington, D.C.'s Ward 5 has revealed unexplained irregularities in the race for the DC Statehood Green Party's nomination for the Ward 5 seat on City Council.

Philip Blair examined the primary results after he apparently lost the primary race to Carolyn Steptoe in a close 40-33 vote.

"In an effort to see if I had grounds for a challenge, I began the process of checking the pollbooks to see who actually signed in as a Statehood Green voter on election day," wrote Mr. Blair in an October 13, 2006 letter to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics (BOEE). Links to Philip Blair's letters to the BOEE are appended below.

Voting Delays at D.C.,Maryland Polls PDF  | Print |  Email
District of Columbia
By Debbi Wilgoren, Washington Post Staff Writer   
September 12, 2006

Undelivered Voter Authorization Cards Left Voting Machines Unavailable

This article appeared in the Washington Post.


Election Day began on a note of frustration in suburban Maryland and the District this morning, as a series of problems and missteps left thousands of citizens unable to vote or rerouted to provisional ballots.

No electronic voting machines were operational when polls opened in Montgomery County, because election officials failed to deliver the required voter authorization cards to the county's 238 precincts. Voters were supposed to be given provisional paper ballots instead. But some precincts did not have enough provisional ballots to accommodate the early morning crowds. A campaign volunteer stationed outside Cannon Road
Elementary School in Silver Spring said poll workers there were turning voters away until the campaign volunteers told them to offer paper ballots instead.

"This is just obscene that we can live in one of the most forward-thinking counties in the country and have so many advantages open to us and for some reason we can't get our polls to work," said Valerie Coll, a public school teacher who was campaigning outside Cannon Road this morning.

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