Money Out of Politics: Holding DC Elections to a Higher Standard
Due to the DC Board of Election's questionable challenge of the Initiative 70 money-out-of-politics petition, DC Public Trust is going to court and expanding its campaign to hold DC's elections infrastructure accountable. They need your help. From the campaign:
Our personal thanks to all of you for helping us get this far with Initiative 70, the effort to ban corporate cash in local political campaigns. As many of you know, we are now in court. The DC Board of Elections said its review found we were short 1,726 valid signatures of the 23,298 needed to qualify for the ballot. In our review of the board's work, we found many inconsistencies and problems. Plus, of the 8,787 names disqualified by the board, more than 3,100--3,116 in fact--are registered voters who signed with a different address than the address on the voter roll at the board! We decided that this issue is too important--and scrutinizing the work of the board of elections here is too important--to rush things. DC Public Trust asked Judge Laura Cordero for more time, and we have gotten until Oct. 2nd to fully explain our complaint. This means the initiative will not appear on the November ballot.
We know this is disappointing, but we believe the scope and importance of our work has gotten larger: At first this was about leveling the playing field in local campaigns, but now we are looking at cleaning up the board of elections too! As some of you know and have read, there has been a lot of confusion over how the board scored our petition sheets. The board is standing by its work. So DC Public Trust has decided that we need to do our own thorough examination, which means reviewing every signer. Not only will we be looking for errors but we will also be taking a closer look at the address mismatch cases and seeing if DC is in compliance with our voter registration laws, including laws like motor voter. We have reason to believe that some residents who signed our petition sheets thought their addresses were updated with the board of elections when they updated their drivers' licenses--but they were not.
So here's where we move from an update to a call for action: We need help reviewing petition sheets! DC Public Trust has created an online database system--thanks to Keith Ivey and his colleague, Tac Tacelosky of JUFJ--to do the work. What you'll be doing is going through petition sheets and entering each name into our database. If there's a match, you'll click match and that name will go into a spreadsheet. It is tedious work, but it will help us build our case. Plus you can do it in the comfort of your home and not have to harass people at farmers' markets!
If you can help us review 25 sheets--500 names or less--that'd be fantastic! Please let Elissa know.
We would need the work to be completed by this Sunday night.
Thanks so much. L'shanah tovah and best wishes for a great 5773!