Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Keep Politics Out Of The Electoral Process

This morning I testified to keep politics out of the electoral process at a special meeting of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics (Board)

D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, who is seeking re-election to a second term, petitioned the Board to amend the provisions in the Board’s regulations to allow independent “no party” voters to vote in the upcoming September 14 Primary Election.

As I stated at the special meeting, District law does not allow a registered voter to change his or her party affiliation or an independent voter to register with a party within 30 days prior to an election.

It is the voter’s responsibility to declare their intention to be affiliated with a party or not on the Board’s Voter Registration Application which clearly states that:

To vote in a primary election, (emphasis provided) you must also:
· Be registered in the party holding the primary election for at least 30 days prior to the election.”

Further, under “Party Registration” on the application in section 9 the voter is required to “check one box” for the Democratic Party; Republican Party; D.C. Statehood Green Party; no party (independent); and other party (write name below) at which there is a line provided.

The following statement is also included in section 9:

PLEASE NOTE: (emphasis provided)
To vote in a primary election in the District of Columbia, you must be registered
with the Democratic, Republican or D.C. Statehood Green Party.”

And finally I pointed out that Mr. Fenty’s campaign chairman Bill Lightfoot is quoted in today’s edition of The Washington Post in which he is quoted stating that:

“…the mayor is trying to ‘give equal treatment’ to nonaffiliated voters. ‘Mayor
Fenty’s position is that as many people as possible should vote, especially those
who share his vision that education is our foundation,’ Lightfoot said.”

Nonaffiliated voters have and have had ample opportunity to either affiliate with any one of the three major parties or not prior to the September 14 Primary. If they chose not to do so then they cannot vote on September 14.

The Board closed it special meeting by issuing its decision in an Order to deny the Mayor Fenty’s petition.

I commend the Board for keeping politics out of the elctoral process.

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