Washington, DC, like a number of states around the country, is currently beginning its redistricting process in the wake of the 2020 census. Per the Ward Redistricting Amendment Act of 2021, DC’s wards and Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) must be redrawn to reflect the population changes that have occurred since the last census in 2010. To accomplish this goal, the DC City Council has tasked the Council’s Subcommittee on Redistricting with soliciting public input and weighing the different concerns that inevitably accompany the redistricting process. The Subcommittee, chaired by at-large Councilmember Elissa Silverman, held a virtual public hearing on September 29, 2021, where many such concerns were voiced.
By Madeline Shay Williams
As the 2020 presidential election quickly approaches, there is widespread concern about voting in the midst of a global pandemic. In an effort to socially distance, many voters will opt to cast their ballot via absentee voting and vote-by-mail. However, delays in mail service and missing absentee ballots have already spelled impending disaster for the presidential election. During the presidential primary in June, the District of Columbia’s Board of Elections allowed voters cast their ballots by email after receiving many complaints from voters who never received their absentee ballots by mail.
By: Mary Boothe
November is coming fast, and with it, a much anticipated election season. But, while many voters around the nation are looking forward to the opportunity to effect change at the presidential, congressional, and local levels, D.C. residents are looking forward to possibly changing their (lack of) statehood status in order to gain an equally representative voice within the federal government.
By: Randolph Critzer
The nation watched last November as the District of Columbia passed an ordinance legalizing marijuana for private use. The ordinance, passed by referendum, was voted into effect on November 4th, 2014, and went into effect this past February. This creates a bit of a confusing situation for D.C., which, unlike the other 4 jurisdictions that have legalized the drug, still sits at the end of Congress’s leash.
Is it better to leave the legislative process entirely in the hands of the elite or should the public have input? Recently The Washington Examiner reported on the disparity between getting a candidate on the ballot and getting an initiative on the ballot. According to this article, candidates are required to produce less than 4,000 signatures to qualify for ballot entry while initiatives require approximately 23,300 to qualify. These standards are given in the DC election code. The candidate requirement is set at 2,000 signatures (for city wide board members participating in a primary)—limited to the political party of the candidate—or 1% of the political party, whichever is less. If the candidate is not participating in a primary election, then the number of signatures is set at 1.5% of the registered voters or 3,000 signatures, whichever is less. Instead of these set numbers, initiatives require signatures from 5% of registered electors, with this list containing at least 5% of the electors from 5 separate wards. [Read more…] about DC Ballot Access Free-for-All?