For anyone interested in how many nominating petitions each candidate turned in, the District's Board of Elections and Ethics was more than happy to indulge. Each page continues 20 signatures, so with some basic math you get rough approximations as to how many signatures each candidate gathered.
By Martin Austermuhle, DCist.com (link)
First, there were 21. Then 11. Now, only 10 candidates remain in the race for the April 26 At-Large Special Election -- and in the coming week, there's a slight chance that the field may be narrowed down further.
Over the weekend, Calvin Gurley was knocked out of contention for not attaining the 3,000 signatures necessary to get on the ballot for the election to fill the seat once held by D.C. Council Chair Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown. Ten other candidates turned in the required signatures last Wednesday, ranging from Interim Councilmember Sekou Biddle's 8,800 to former Ward 1 council candidate Bryan Weaver's 3,400.
Saturday marked the start of a 10-day challenge period, during which residents are allowed to inspect any and all of the nominating petitions turned in by candidates for irregularities that could disqualify certain signatures and potentially knock candidates off of the ballot. Any D.C. resident can truck on down to the Board of Elections and Ethics -- and yes, the office is open today, with BOEE workers being allowed to take the mandatory furlough day at another point during the year -- request any of the nominating petitions and go through the painstaking process of checking signatures against information in the D.C. voter registry. In the brief visit I made to BOEE this morning, I checked a few of Biddle's signatures against information in the registry, and everything seemed to come up clean.
Challenges are part and parcel of the District's democratic process, and have been successful in denying candidates access to the ballot over the years. Most famous is the case of former Mayor Anthony Williams, who was knocked off the ballot in 2002 and fined close to $300,000 after hundreds of his signatures were effectively challenged. (Williams ended up running as a write-in and won re-election.) Just last year, Gurley's run for the Council chairmanship was cut short when challenges to his nominating petitions brought him 148 signatures short of the required 2,000 to get on the ballot. Gurley's either very unlucky or just not very good at gathering signatures.
The last day for challenges is February 28; BOEE will publish its determination on who gets on the ballot and who doesn't by March 15.
By Tim Craig, The Washington Post (link)
Eleven candidates are running in the April 26 special election for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council, setting up a noisy citywide campaign.
Last month, the D.C. Democratic State Committee selected former school board member Sekou Biddle to temporarily fill the vacancy created by the election of Kwame R. Brown (D) as council chairman. But candidates from any party or none can appear on the ballot in the special election.
Biddle and 10 others met the Wednesday deadline to submit the signatures of at least 3,000 voters. The Board of Elections and Ethics has two weeks to determine whether the signatures are valid.