Monday, April 7, 2014

DC Watch on Election Reform

From themail April 7, 2014:
Election Reform
Dorothy Brizill,
Last week, the District had the lowest voter turnout for a primary election in thirty years. Only 22.5 percent of all registered voters went to the pools, with only 11.47 percent in Ward 8 and 16.48 percent in Ward 7. Yet, despite the low number of votes cast, the DC Board of Elections again proved unable to conduct the election and tabulate the votes properly. I visited all the early voting sites between March 17 and March 29, and nearly twenty polling precincts on April 1, and I witnessed serious problems that raised concerns about the BOE’s ability to conduct elections. For example, electronic voting machines and poll books didn’t work, precinct captains were left to fend for themselves and repair equipment, several poll workers were poorly trained, supplies at polling precincts were inadequate, etc. On election night, as has already been reported (, the BOE was unable to tabulate the turns in a timely and accurate manner.

On April 29 at 1:00 p.m., Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, the chairman of the council’s Government Operations Committee, will conduct a hearing regarding the BOE’s conduct of the April 1 primary and the problems that arose. Prior to the hearing it would be helpful if voters and poll workers sent me E-mails detailing the issues and/or problems they encountered when they voted, whether at an early voting center or a voting precinct on election day. I hope to hear from concerned citizens and research the problems that arose, and to make recommendations for fixes to be made prior to the general election on November 4. Please send your comments to me directly at or at 202-234-6982.

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