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No reregistering as Democrat on primary day, board rules

Christopher Dean Hopkins

In a 2 to 0 vote Wednesday, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics denied a request by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, who petitioned the panel to allow unaffiliated voters to register as Democrats under new election laws that allow for same-day registration.

On Aug. 12, the board adopted emergency regulations to clarify the new laws that went into effect in February. Voters registered as "no party" cannot declare a party at the last minute to vote in the Sept. 14 primary, according to the regulations.

Board chairman Togo D. West Jr. said the D.C. Council already knocked down the idea when it approved legislation that changed election laws that created same-day registration.

The decision Wednesday was a blow to the Fenty campaign, which had been hoping to broaden the electorate to the mayor's advantage in his tough reelection bid against his chief challenger, Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray.

By Nikita Stewart  |  August 25, 2010; 10:39 AM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Mayor Fenty  
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Comments

When you are losing you try to change the rules. Congrats to the Board of Elections for doing the right thing.

Posted by: peterdc | August 25, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Yes, BOE, you finally stood up for the citizens of DC.

Thanks for showing real integrity.

Posted by: dccounselor72 | August 25, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

NO CHANGING OF THE RULES AS SUCH, SORRY I MYSELF HAD E-MAIL THE MAYOR'S OFFICE AND MY CITY COUNSEL MEMBER ASKING IF AT ALL IT WAS POSSIBLE FOR THE "SO CALL CHANGING OF THE RULES". I ALSO HAD SPOKEN TO SOMEONE IN THE BOARD OF ELECTION OFFICE. DO TO THE FACT THAT I AS A SENIOR CITZEN DID NOT REALIZE I COULD NOT VOTE IN THIS ELECTION. THANK'S MR MAYOR FOR TAKING THIS ON. SO ALL OF YOU OF YOU WHO DON'T LIKE THE MAYOR FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO BLAME HIM ON. A SPECIAL NOTE TO YOU MR.GRAY'S VOTER'S YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE AS A MAYOR. BUT YOU SURE DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO GET. YOU WON'T MISS THE WATER TILL THE WELL RUN'S DRY. SO WE OLDER FOLK'S SAY. SO MR. MAYOR A NOTE TO YOU PUSH ON AND YOU AND MS. RHEE STAY FOCUS.

Posted by: kitty281137 | August 25, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Other states allow people who choose not to affiliate themselves with a party to declare their preference each primary season. Massachusetts does this without any problems. If DC had more flexibility then maybe 80% of the population wouldn't feel forced to register as Democrat.

Posted by: lipschitzantwon | August 25, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

kitty281137 is a senior plant for the re-elect Fenty committee ... booooooooooooooo and try again!

Posted by: gordonj1 | August 25, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

DON'T BLAME THE MAYOR FOR SO CALL "CHANGING OF THE RULES" HE WAS COMING TO THE AID OF A SENIOR WHO SIMPLY DID NOT KNOW THE RULES. I HAD ASK HIS OFFICE AND MY CITY COUNSEL MEMBER THE SAME. THANKS MR. MAYOR FOR STICKING YOUR NECK OUT THERE FOR PEOPLE LIKE MYSELF. WHO SIMPLY DON'T KNOW THE RULES.

Posted by: kitty281137 | August 25, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Kitty, there is no reason why you didn't know that you could vote in the primary. I'm sure you've been a voter for years, and nothing has changed. There is PLENTY of things for which to blame Fenty. And, with Gray, I know I would be getting a mayor who is not arrogant, will listen to citizens, and will make decisions based on the best interests of the citizens and not his cronies (fraternity brothers). It's interesting that Fenty supporters talk about how test scores have improved under Rhee, but it was the previous superintendent, Clifford Janey, who put the new assessment system in place, so any gains should be attributed to him.

Posted by: linroy62 | August 25, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Everyone in Texas is an independant until they vote in a Primary. Their Voter Registration is stamped either Republican or Democrat only so a person can't vote in both elections or Run Off elections in another Primary should there be one.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | August 25, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

While it is true that other places have crossover primary voting and other methods of inclusion, these rules are in place long before the primary season.

The difference here? Fenty sees the writing on the wall and proposed to change the rules to his perceived advantage just a few weeks before voting. This was his justification for vetoing the "Pay to Vote" bill.

Posted by: LukasWP | August 25, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

If you don't want to be a member of that organization why do you want to choice its leadership. That would have been an affront. I am red hot at Adrian for suggesting it.

Posted by: CultureClub | August 25, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Hooray - Adrian Fenty is one step closer to losing!!! I look forward to the thoroughly corrupt and disgusting Adrian Fenty being voted out of office. Hopefully the City Council will hire an independent prosecutor to nail Fenty for the crimes he has committed as Mayor.

Posted by: ashafer_usa | August 25, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

MR. GORDON1,I MAYBE A POTTED PLANT FOR YOUR PURPOSE, BUT NOT A "SENIOR PLANT" THE RE-ELECTION COMMITTEE FOR THE MAYOR DON'T KNOW ME FROM A EXCUSE THE EXPRESSION A POT OF BEANS. NICE TRY.

Posted by: kitty281137 | August 25, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

This was an attempt by mayor fenty to steal the democratic primary by including non-democrats in our democratic primary. The rules were already in place to allow anyone who wanted to change their party affilation, to do so by august 16th, and 4,000 voters decided to swith to democrats. I guess this was not enough for fenty, since he lost the two biggest democratic wards during straw poll season (wards 4/5). He ain't seen nothing yet, can't wait for early voting to start (aug. 30th).

Posted by: bill121 | August 25, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I agree with CultureClub More than anything that has been said so far. So an Indie clearly doesnt want to be affiliated with the Dems any other time but yet you want to choose our leader. I dont understand that. I say groom and prepare a Indie candidate to run and vote at the last hour. They had months to switch parties. My sister was Indie then switched before the dealine. Why couldnt other people get with it. Are we gonna let voters who forgot Sept 14 was the primary date vote on the 30th...rules are in place for a reason. Even if every other state has open primaries that doesnt change DC rules. And if you wanted to change the rules why so late. just smells a foul.

To kitty, while I respect senior citizens I must say that if you are a senior citizen, im sure youve been around for an election or two. Why dont you know the elcection laws. This has been in place for a long time now.

Posted by: lilscooby09 | August 25, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Board of Elections and Ethics??? They really stretch the concept to think that they're ethical. All they did is stand up for the crony-controlled (undemocratic) Democratic party in DC. Gray is on shaky ground pointing the finger at Fenty for "cronyism" when he's part of the problem in just being a part of the DC Dems. The solution here is not to register as a Democrat, but to go to the polls in November and vote against every Dem on the ballot. Show them that they can not control the city and they do not run this place outright. It is well past time to bring an end to this "(D)-domination" of the District.

Posted by: blankspace | August 25, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm a registered independent (which is "no party" in DC). I would have welcomed the chance to vote in the primary because the Republicans aren't fielding a candidate for mayor. But I wouldn't have voted for Fenty. As far as I'm concerned, hiring Michelle Rhee was Fenty's only decent move, and she's very, very unlikely to stay long if Fenty wins given that she's married to somebody whose job requires his presence in Sacramento, CA. I'm sure that Rhee will quickly quit DCPS for a better paying job in a larger school district near Sacramento.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | August 25, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Do any of Fenty's friends provide/service voting machines?

Posted by: ceefer66 | August 25, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Have you heard, washingtondame?

Rhee's wedding is postponed - no new date given, but a lot of people are being dis-invited, in order to make it a smaller event that respects the "sanctity of marriage"

No kidding. See the Reliable source: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/reliable-source/2010/08/michelle_rhee_and_kevin_johnso.html

Posted by: efavorite | August 25, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

i am very happy about this.

several months ago, i switched my voter registration from "democrat" (of 40 years!!!) to "no party." i did so because of the hatchet job the DNC did on the candidacy of hillary clinton. little did i know that i'd be getting such a delightful fringe benefit for dropping the democratic party label, however.

the fringe benefit? i get to kick each and every campaign worker off our front porch by simply informing them, through our intercom system, that "two registered independents live at this address." and let's face it, folks, there is no general election season in dc politics... it's all decided in the primary.

in 2006, adrian fenty rang our doorbell and we conversed very briefly via intercom. there were not one, but two signs on our front lawn endorsing another candidate. i politely pointed this out to mr. fenty and suggested that his time might be better spent ringing someone else's doorbell.

he took a condescending view of my signs and the other candidate and began to lecture me on my poor choice of candidate for mayor. i politely informed him that the signs were an indication of our mayoral preference and that he need not have bothered stopping by. that's when he added "but that's exactly why i need to talk to you." to which i responded "and that's exactly why i don't need to talk to you, so please get off our front porch and go find someone else to annoy."

adrian fenty is like a spoiled child who has always gotten his way. i'm pleased to see that the DC board of elections and ethics has refused to cave in to his unreasonable and self-serving petition.

Posted by: potomacfever00 | August 25, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Kitty...honey its time to go back to your litterbox. Nice try

Posted by: bigheadbull2 | August 25, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

How is this a setback? He's still in second place.

Posted by: forgetthis | August 25, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

A 2-0 vote? seriously? just two people are making all the important election related decisions??

Posted by: Washington Post Editors | August 25, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

So when Fenty and Rhee make unilateral decisions concerning people's futures based on criteria no one has seen, Thats okay?

Posted by: lilscooby09 | August 25, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Hooray, less voter participation in elections, way to go idiots.

Posted by: bobsarancin | August 25, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Fenty... I mean Kitty, I'm very sorry for you that you weren't aware of the DC laws. Since you are fond of old "sayings" have you heard this one... Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Regardless of what has happened in Texas or New York or any other place... in WASHINGTON DC, in order to participate in the primary, you must register with that party. That is not new, it is not unexpected, it is FACT. Another FACT, is that due to the large number of registered democrats, the primary usually does determine who will win the general election. Again, this is not new, or unexpected... just FACT! As a democrat, if I want a say in who republicans choose in their primary, I must first, change to republican in order to vote. Same for all parties.

If this was something Fenty was interested in doing say two years ago and tried it, maybe he would have been taken seriously. But he is a Mayor, who is losing an election and has more support outside of his party than inside so now, he becomes concerned with making sure you have a vote. See, this isnt really about you even if you did ask him for help.

He now has the choice of changing from the democratic party that he has such disdain for and running as an independant or republican. If he joins you he will have and additional 70,000 votes.

What he wont have, is people who are interested in democracy. You see, we know that he has no respect for the DEMOCRATIC PROCESS and that we have no chance for home rule or statehood with him at the helm. The only things that interest Fenty... is Fenty.

Posted by: tformation1 | August 25, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

@ kitty281137 - take it down a notch, lay off the caps!

Posted by: BeWitched | August 25, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: potomacfever00 | August 25, 2010 2:54 PM i am very happy about this.

several months ago, i switched my voter registration from "democrat" (of 40 years!!!) to "no party." i did so because of the hatchet job the DNC did on the candidacy of hillary clinton. little did i know that i'd be getting such a delightful fringe benefit for dropping the democratic party label, however.
===

You mean the agreement that Hillary went into and decided she didn't like it after the fact? That hatchet job?

Posted by: dcis1 | August 25, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps he can enlist that felon Ron Moten to the strong arm thing!

It incredible that a convicted felon can get over 10 Million Dollars from the District Government.

If you use this as a standard, crime does pay.

Posted by: Special_One40 | August 25, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

KJ could always run for Congress.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 25, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, thank you Board of Elections. King Fenty is so desparate, he's trying to do anything to win this race. The U.S. Justice Department need to monitor this election because I don't trust King Fenty and his people.

I will be voting early on Monday, August 30, 2010 at 441 4th Street, NW. I want to make sure my vote against King Fenty counts.

If I die before then, I will come back from the grave to vote King Fenty out of office. LOL LOL

Posted by: Ward4DC | August 25, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey kitty281137, IGNORANCE is no excuse. Take this time to educate yourself on the DC Board of Elections rules and after the election process is completed, make the changes necessary to satisfy your objectives.

What you are saying is that since you did not read and understand the pitfalls of being an Independent, the rules should be change to accommodate your desire to vote in the Primary.

I am interested in who you would have selected in the primary if you were allowed to vote in the primary. Please share kitty281137.

Posted by: Special_One40 | August 25, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Fenty attack Gray on the Kojo show about the law making buying someone's vote in DC illegal? That they shouldn't change the rules of the game at the end? Fenty is such a hypocrite it makes me sick.

Posted by: Aerowaz | August 25, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

As a DC Independent voter, I believe that we should protest at the polling places in September and November. We need to force repeal of the city rules that bar participation in primaries. I will never vote for another Democrat for any office until this law changes. I will also oppose a vote in Congress or statehood for DC until there this full enfranchisement for all voters in the city and not just the party cronies. The party system should be destroyed.

Posted by: blankspace | August 25, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

kitty28113

You lie.

Posted by: guylady201001 | August 25, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

@ Blankspace....

Feel free, however, if the fact that you HAVE NEVER been able to vote in a primary election for a party that you did not belong to didn't inspire you to denounce a vote in congress or statehood for the city or make you want to protest at polling places on any other election day... I wonder if you will have the energy to do it this time.

Are you one of the people that have relocated to DC for the good job that the Mayor saves for his out of towners? You aren't familiar with the electorate process, you support taxation without representation for REAL DC Residence and you think the laws should be changed at the last minute to suit you personally. Yep, sounds to me like you are one of the recently arrived Fenty crew...

Here's a tip for you, uhaul sells cardboard packing boxes.

Posted by: tformation1 | August 25, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

blankspace

Feel free to protest but do not try to vote on 9-14.

This is the Democratic Primary for Democrats who will decide who will represent our party.

Posted by: guylady201001 | August 25, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Fenty is desperate. Kudos to the BOEE for standing up against this naked attempt to steal the election.

Posted by: ObjectiveReader1 | August 25, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

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