Sunday, November 8, 2009

Council of the District of Columbia Passes the “Omnibus Election Reform Act of 2009”

D.C. City Council’s second and final vote on Tuesday, November 3, on Bill 18-345, the “Omnibus Election Reform Act of 2009”, served as a major step forward for voting in the District of Columbia.

It will be remembered as the day when the City Council voted unanimously, with amendments, to make voting and registering to vote easier for D.C. residents. In addition, Bill 18-345 will hold the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics (DCBOEE) more accountable for the administration of elections.

During the Council’s November 3 deliberations on Bill 18-345, the bill was amended by:
• Requiring a voter who uses the same-day registration process, which allows a District of Columbia resident to register and vote on election day, to vote provisionally by casting a special ballot subject to the DCBOEE determination of eligibility before counting the ballot; and
• Retaining the provision in the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, Title 3, Elections and Ethics, regarding certification that the circulator of a petition for an initiative or referendum “has not made any false statements regarding the initiative or referendum to anyone whose signature is appended to the petition.”

I support these amendments and believe they strengthen the bill.

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