District of Columbia

Articles about voting issues in The District of Columbia.

District of Columbia: D.C. is slated to vote last in 2020 Democratic primaries. That might change. | The Washington Post

At it stands, Democratic voters in Washington, D.C., will be last in the nation to weigh in on who should challenge Donald Trump in 2020’s presidential contest. But some local politicos want to change that. At a meeting Thursday, the D.C. Democratic State Committee will consider whether to recommend moving up the District’s primary from June 16 to April 28, or some other early spring date. “If you want to be competitive in the democratic process, you need to be early up,” said D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who represents the District on the Democratic National Committee. Evans and others have long argued that an earlier primary would draw national attention to the city’s lack of representation in Congress and spark more enthusiasm from local voters.

Full Article: D.C. 2020 primary: Jack Evans and others want to change the date so D.C. residents don't vote last. - The Washington Post.

District of Columbia: D.C. Council declines to take up bill to lower voting age to 16 | The Washington Post

The D.C. Council indefinitely delayed action on legislation to lower the voting age to 16, dealing a blow to efforts to make the nation’s capital the first jurisdiction to allow minors to cast ballots in presidential contests. Lawmakers voted 7 to 6 to table the bill, imperiling its chances before an end-of-year deadline to pass legislation. The voting bill hit a setback after a pair of lawmakers who helped introduce the legislation — Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) and Anita Bonds (D-At Large) — flipped positions and declined to vote for it. … Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) had backed the proposal but distanced herself from the measure before the vote.

Full Article: D.C. Council declines to take up bill to lower voting age to 16 - The Washington Post.

District of Columbia: DC files suit to get votes in Congress | WTOP

A lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of D.C. residents in a new bid to put legal pressure on Congress to give the District of Columbia full voting rights and representation on Capitol Hill. As millions of Americans head to the polls on Tuesday, advocates pointed out that District residents are still not able to cast votes for both a Senator and member of the House of Representatives. “This lawsuit says that it’s not just unfair and un-American, but it’s unconstitutional that people who live in the District of Columbia do not have the vote,” said Walter Smith, executive director of the DC Appleseed Center for Law & Justice. “It’s time to fix that.”

Full Article: DC files suit to get votes in Congress | WTOP.

District of Columbia: D.C. Council committee approves bill to lower voting age to 16 | WJLA

The D.C. Council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety passed the bill to lower the voting age to 16 in D.C. with a unanimous 3-0 vote Thursday. With Committee approval, the bill will now be placed on the agenda of the Nov. 13 City Council Legislative Meeting, where it will be voted on by the full council. Vote16DC, a coalition of youth, adult allies, and organizations that support granting voting rights to 16- and 17-year-olds in the District, has spent months leading up to this committee vote mobilizing community support and educating Councilmembers on the merits of lowering DC’s voting age to 16.

Full Article: D.C. Council committee approves bill to lower D.C. voting age to 16 | WJLA.

District of Columbia: DC awarded $3 million for new election security & upgrades, $0 spent as midterms loom | WUSA

It was a clarion call from the White House briefing room, that the threat from Russia was real. The nation’s top national intelligence officials took to the West Wing podium, as Director of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen encapsulated the message in stark terms. “Our democracy is in the crosshairs,” Nielsen said. She added, “we have seen a willingness and a capability on the part of the Russians,” to hack the American election infrastructure, including voter rolls and voting machines. But only six blocks from the August news conference, the urgency may not have seemed apparent, with the D.C. Council in summer recess, and a $3 million election security grant waiting to be approved. With less than 60 days before the midterm elections, the District has spent $0 of the $3 million grant, according to interviews and documents reviewed by WUSA9.

Full Article: DC awarded $3 million for new election security & upgrades, $0 spent as midterms loom | wusa9.com.

District of Columbia: DC teens could get right to vote | WTOP

Sixteen- and 17-year-olds in D.C. may become the youngest Americans eligible to vote in the 2020 presidential election. A bill backed by a majority of the members of the D.C. Council would lower the city’s voting age to 16. Takoma Park, Greenbelt and Hyattsville in Maryland have lowered the voting age to 16 and proponents in D.C. say the teenagers have become energized voting blocks in those communities (though they can only vote in municipal elections there). The D.C. measure would amend the city’s 1955 Election Code to allow 16- and 17-year-olds voting rights — and it makes no exception for presidential voting. It would also require every school in the city to provide its 16-year-old students a voter registration application.

Full Article: WTOP | DC teens could get right to vote.

District of Columbia: DC may let 16-year-olds vote for president. Is that a good idea? | NBC

High school students marched to protest for gun control after the Parkland shooting in Florida and soon they might be marching straight to the voting booth in the nation’s capital. Washington is on track to become the first place in the country to allow people as young as 16 to vote in federal elections, including for president, as the nation glimpses the emerging political power of the generation that follows millennials. It’s part of a burgeoning movement in the U.S. and abroad as a growing number of cities and states consider ways to expand voting rights to younger people.

Full Article: Washington, D.C., may let 16-year-olds vote for president. Is that a good idea?.

District of Columbia: Vote At 16? D.C. Bill Would Lower Voting Age For Both Local And Federal Elections | WAMU

A bill set to be introduced in the D.C. Council on Tuesday would lower the voting age for both local and federal elections from 18 to 16. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), who is introducing the bill, says that given all the other responsibilities 16-year-olds already have, they should also have the right to vote on who represents them. “At the age of 16, our society already gives young people greater legal responsibility. They can drive a car. They can work. Some are raising a family or helping their family make ends meet. They pay taxes,” he said in a statement. “And yet, they can’t exercise their voice where it matters most — at the ballot box.”

Full Article: Vote At 16? D.C. Bill Would Lower Voting Age For Both Local And Federal Elections | WAMU.

District of Columbia: A driver’s license in D.C. will soon come with a perk: automatic voter registration | The Washington Post

Every District resident over the age of 18 who gets a driver’s license would become automatically registered to vote under a spending plan the D.C. Council is expected to give final approval to later this month. The spending plan, which advanced easily on Tuesday, would mean the District would join­­ eight states with automatic voter registration. Many Democratic lawmakers embraced automatic registration as a way to counter restrictive voter ID laws supported by some conservatives. Government groups have also pressed states to link voter registration with other government databases, saying doing so would help clean up inaccurate state voter rolls. Lawmakers in 32 states have introduced measures in the last year to automatically register drivers to vote.

Full Article: A driver’s license in D.C. will soon come with a perk: automatic voter registration - The Washington Post.

District of Columbia: D.C. to spend $3 million to get names of dead people, other errors off voter rolls | The Washington Post

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) plans to spend $3 million to overhaul the city’s voter registration database, a file that is riddled with errors, including the names of deceased residents and thousands of voters whose births erroneously date to the 1800s, according to a recent audit. The move comes as President Trump launches a commission on “election integrity” to cut down on voter fraud, but city officials say that is a coincidence. “There is no connection. This decision was made well before President Trump’s election integrity commission,” Bowser spokesman Kevin Harris said Tuesday.

Full Article: D.C. to spend $3 million to get names of dead people, other errors off voter rolls - The Washington Post.

District of Columbia: D.C. primary may move to June to avoid breaking federal law | The Washington Post

The District would permanently shift its primary elections to late June — ending years of struggle by city officials to comply with federal requirements for mailing ballots to voters overseas — under legislation D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) plans to introduce Tuesday. Allen’s bill would establish the third Tuesday in June as D.C.’s primary election date, beginning in 2018 — a closely watched election year in which the primary campaign will likely decide a number of high-profile citywide races, including the next mayoral contest. The legislation is meant to put an end to a protracted period in which city officials have shuffled the primary across the calendar to avoid breaking federal law, which requires that general-election ballots be sent to overseas voters at least 45 days before election day.

Full Article: D.C. primary may move to June to avoid breaking federal law - The Washington Post.

District of Columbia: Republican-led Congress denies D.C. delegate a vote. Again. | The Washington Post

On the first day of the 115th Congress, members buzzed Tuesday about the repeal of President Obama’s health-care law, tax reform and whether to gut the ethics office. All Eleanor Holmes Norton wanted to discuss was a vote. And a symbolic one at that. For the fourth consecutive session, Norton (D), the non­voting D.C. representative, formally asked the speaker of the House for the ability to vote on amendments and procedural issues. Again, she was thwarted. This time, she brought D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and a veterans advocate with her. Norton pushed for a vote in the Committee of the Whole as “a down payment on full voting rights for the more than 680,000 American citizens residing in the District of Columbia, who pay the highest federal income taxes per capita in the United States and have fought and died in every American war, yet have no vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, ‘the people’s house,’ ” she said.

Full Article: Republican-led Congress denies D.C. delegate a vote. Again. - The Washington Post.

District of Columbia: DC Council bill makes voter registration automatic | WJLA

Most of us dread going to the DMV, but the D.C. Council hopes your next trip to renew or update your license might help increase voter turnout. On Tuesday, Council members unanimously approved legislation making voter registration automatic. The veto-proof D.C. Council bill is now waiting for Mayor Muriel Bowser’s signature. The pending law would automatically send District Department of Motor Vehicles data to the D.C. Board of Elections. “At a time in our country, when we see states time and time again try to block people from the poll, from the ballot box, I’m really proud that in D.C. we actually are trying to make it easy as possible and get as many people registered to vote as we can,” said Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen who introduced the bill.

Full Article: DC Council bill makes voter registration automatic | WJLA.

District of Columbia: DC Council considers rush on New Columbia statehood constitution | WTOP

One step closer to statehood, the D.C. Council heard and discussed what could be the state constitution for “New Columbia.” “The question is not why statehood, but what it should look like,” said D.C. council member Mary Cheh during Tuesday’s hearing. To create the state of New Columbia, the citizens of the District are following what’s called the “Tennessee Plan.” “The citizens, of in this case of the District, get their proposal together before they petition Congress for admission into the union,” Council Chair Phil Mendelson explained at the hearing’s outset. But there’s little time to waste to get the referendum to voters by Nov. 8. It will need to be approved by voters in November to be sent to Congress. It’s a big job to be done in a small window of time.

Full Article: DC Council considers rush on New Columbia statehood constitution | WTOP.

District of Columbia: D.C. mayor pushes statehood issue at Democratic National Convention | The Washington Post

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, speaking Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention, confidently predicted victory — and soon — in the District’s four-decade fight for statehood. Bowser used the few moments she was allotted to address the convention to publicly demand greater support for the cause from fellow Democrats. The mayor also made clear that she expects Hillary Clinton to fulfill her pledge to be a vocal advocate for D.C. statehood if she wins the presidency in November. Taking the microphone to announce D.C. Democrats’ overwhelming vote for Clinton to be the party’s nominee, Bowser introduced herself as mayor of “the best city in the world, and soon to be the 51st state of our great union.”

Full Article: D.C. mayor pushes statehood issue at Democratic National Convention - The Washington Post.

District of Columbia: The statehood convention that wasn’t | The Hill

Since Mayor Bowser announced her statehood initiative in April, the celebratory mood has gone from one of exuberance to consternation among some statehood supporters in just a short few months. The debate over the content of the Mayor’s proposed new statehood constitution and the sequence for its ratification have caused a flurries of discontent. Now, according to council Chairman Mendelson’s office, the final statehood constitution is unlikely to be put on the ballot in November for a vote up or down. However, the language of the city’s “advisory” referendum states that D.C. voters who approve the referendum “would establish that the citizens of the District of Columbia … approve a Constitution of the State of New Columbia to be adopted by the Council…” In other words, the D.C. Council may add or subtract whatever language it likes and call it a constitution, without District residents actually knowing what’s inside when they vote to approve it in the November.

Full Article: The statehood convention that wasn't | TheHill.

District of Columbia: Statehood measure approved for November ballot | The Washington Post

A ballot referendum to split the nation’s capital into a new state for its residents and a smaller, federal district for government buildings and monuments is headed to D.C. voters in November. The D.C. Council unanimously approved the referendum proposed by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) on Tuesday, saying that, if approved, it could help pressure Congress to hold the first vote in more than two decades to allow D.C. residents to form the 51st state. In backing the plan, however, the council brushed aside criticism from statehood advocates who felt that D.C. residents should have more say in drafting a constitution for the would-be state. A final vote on the founding document, which voters would be asked to “approve,” would not be taken by the D.C. Council until after the November election.

Full Article: D.C. statehood measure approved for November ballot - The Washington Post.

District of Columbia: District To Become 51st State? Washington, DC, Could Be Named ‘New Columbia’ If It Gets Statehood | IBT

A commission working out the logistics of Washington, D.C.’s bid for statehood decided this week if they’re successful in becoming the 51st state, it should be called “New Columbia,” the Washington Post reported. New Columbia beat out suggestions like “the State of Washington, D.C.,” “Anacostia,” “Douglass Commonwealth” and “Potomac,” according to WAMU, American University radio in Washington. It emerged as the victor in part because voters have technically already approved it once — in 1982, another time Washingtonians pushed to become a state. “It’s the only name that’s even been voted on by the people of the District of Columbia,” shadow Sen. Michael Brown told WAMU. “For 34 years, people have used this name to push this movement forward.”

Full Article: District To Become 51st State? Washington, DC, Could Be Named ‘New Columbia’ If It Gets Statehood.

District of Columbia: D.C. makes it shockingly easy to snoop on your fellow voters | The Washington Post

A little-known law in the nation’s capital is leading to complaints over the way it lets anyone on the Internet find out D.C. voters’ names, addresses, voting history and political affiliations, with little more than a click or two. The political list, known as a voter file, was published on the D.C. Board of Elections’ website in the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s Democratic primary. It contains a complete record of every voter who is registered to vote in the contest, as well as whether the voter has cast a ballot in the six elections going back to 2012. The issue underscores a growing tension between the use of data in governance and the need to protect people’s privacy. Surveys by the Pew Research Center show that while most Americans approve of the use of data to evaluate a restaurant’s health and safety record, they are less comfortable when it comes to posting real-estate transactions or individuals’ mortgage data on the Internet.

Full Article: D.C. makes it shockingly easy to snoop on your fellow voters - The Washington Post.

District of Columbia: Glitch believed to be based in mobile app erases some D.C. voters’ party affiliation | The Washington Post

Voters reported multiple problems in casting ballots in the District on Tuesday, raising the possibility that technical issues could mar a citywide election for the second year in a row. An unknown number of D.C. voters who went to the polls discovered that their party affiliation had changed — without their authorization. Three voters interviewed by The Post said they were told their registration was no longer Democrat but “N-P,” meaning no party, preventing them from casting regular ballots counted on Election Day. The Distrtict has a closed primary; only voters registered as Democrats, Republicans and D.C. Statehood Green party members can participate.

Full Article: Glitch believed to be based in mobile app erases some D.C. voters’ party affiliation - The Washington Post.