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Live blog: D.C. Primary Day 2010 evening -- Returns trickle in

Christopher Dean Hopkins

Welcome to our continuing coverage of Election Day, as members of D.C. political parties head to the polls to pick nominees for mayor, D.C. Council chairman, U.S. Delegate and an array of other District and ward-level positions. Keep an eye on the D.C. Politics page throughout the day for the latest updates and scenes from the campaigns and polling places.

To see the thread of updates from this morning, click here.

To see the thread of updates from this afternoon, click here.

Latest news: Gray takes case for extended hours to Superior Court; request is denied | New gift-card complaints submitted to Board of Elections | Gray campaign to request longer polling hours at precincts that had problems this morning; Board of Elections responds; Fenty and Gray both have voted (videos); problems held up voting at Sherwood Rec Center.

Scenes: Gray backers at Precinct 113 | Competing boosters in Ward 8 Fenty's father speaks out

Let us know what you saw out there online, by e-mail, Twitter or photograph

UPDATE 2:52 a.m.: Fenty campaign spokesman Sean Madigan said campaign workers reached out to the Gray campaign at about 2:30 a.m. to arrange a call from Mayor Fenty conceding the race.

"We reached out to the campaign so that the mayor can get in touch with him first thing in the morning," Madigan said.

Madigan was asked why Fenty had arrived at his headquarters still whipping supporters to victory and urging them to stick around when The Post had projected a Gray victory and it now seems clear the numbers were going against him.

A reporter for WAMU-FM asked whether it was a sign that Fenty was "a poor loser."

Madigan said it was a "judgment call." The spokesman said Fenty wanted to be sure of the tally and would ask the Board of Elections to count special ballots and absentee ballots and 15 precincts.

"It's a numbers game. There are at least 15 precincts that haven't come in yet," Madigan said. "He's a very bottom-line kind of guy."

-- Fredrick Kunkle

UPDATE 2:37 a.m.: D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said that he had been briefed last about the Board of Elections's tally at about 12:45 a.m., when he heard that they were at 20 to 30 percent of the count. He said his understanding was that they had not even counted all the early votes and provisional votes.

Fenty also reiterated that he would not consider running as a write-in candidate or on the Republican ticket if he loses.

"All elections are different. If you go back to all the elections I've been in, they've all had twists and turns, ups and downs, and this one's no different," Fenty said. "I always knew that we wouldn't know kind of how this race was going to shape up until we were all standing here tonight. And no one could have predicted this. You know what I mean. And it'll be like that in all the future elections any of us are involved in as well."

In response to a question, Fenty also said he felt as if he had gained strength and picked up momentum in the last days of the campaign.

A reporter asked if he would run for office again if he lost, and Fenty declined to say, saying he would not talk about hypotheticals. Asked if he was headed home, he said no -- "there's stuff I gotta do." And asked if had any regrets about how a race that he was expected to waltz away with had perhaps been lost, he said "no, I have no regrets."

-- Fredrick Kunkle

UPDATE 2:17 a.m.: D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton easily defeated her second primary opponent in 20 years on Tuesday, securing the Democratic nomination en route to reelection in November.

With nearly all precincts counted, Norton had more than 90 percent of the vote against Douglass Sloan, a Ward 4 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and political consultant who ran on the message that the District needs a change after two decades of having the same person shepherd its interests on Capitol Hill.

-- Ben Pershing

UPDATE 2:03 a.m.: Mayor Adrian Fenty appeared at his campaign headquarters about 1:12 a.m., wading into a crowd of more than 100 green-clad supporters to rally the diehards still hanging on for news.

"All right, everyone!" Fenty said, vowing to wait until the Board of Elections determined a winner. "Well, it looks like we got a fight going on!"

Despite returns showing him behind -- and The Post calling the election for Gray -- Fenty appeared in no mood to concede. His wife was at his side as workers gathered around.

"We don't know the tally of the vote, but we do know that whatever they were saying about 17 percent, that number doesn't mean anything," Fenty said, apparently referring to opinion polls before the election showing him far behind Gray. He also told the crowd that the man who had been injured when a plate-glass window shattered was not seriously hurt.

"On to victory!" he cried.

As supporters cheered in a call-and-response, saying "Four more years!" and "Fenty," the mayor began strolling through the crowd, which had thinned to fewer than half from its height, giving out hugs and handshakes and having his picture taken with well-wishers.

Asked what he would do differently if he were reelected, he told reporters that he would continue to focus on education.

"There's a lot of other great initiatives that my agency directors have teed up, that we're going to roll out in the next few weeks," he said.

He also said he had not heard that The Post already had projected that the race, which once was his to lose, had been lost.

"I haven't heard that at all, and as far as I know, the Board of Elections had a lot of counting to do," Fenty said. Addressing the agonizing wait for returns, Fenty said he wanted to avoid criticizing the Board of Elections for the delayed results, which he said was "amazing," but suggested that the board may have been struggling with changes in procedure imposed by the Council.

Fenty said that when he last had talked to the board, they were at 20 to 30 percent of the count.

-- Fredrick Kunkle

UPDATE 1:57 a.m.: D.C. Council member Kwame R. Brown (D-At Large) won the Democratic primary contest for council chairman, defeating former council member Vincent Orange, according to unofficial results.

Brown carried nearly 55 percent of the vote, while Orange received 39 percent, according to results just after 1:30 a.m.

The results mean Brown is all but certain to succeed Chairman Vincent C.
Gray because of the city's heavily Democratic electorate.

Orange was not immediately available for comment.

-- Ann Marimow

UPDATE 1:32 a.m.: "We are very humbled by what we're seeing,'' Brown said in a brief phone interview. "We ran a very positive campaign and we think the results are showing that."

Brown spent the evening in a hotel room at the Capitol Skyline Hotel. He said he would come downstairs only after he knew what more of the results showed.

"We need to be respectful,'' he said.

But Brown pledged to address the "kinks" in the District's elections voting problems if elected chairman.

-- Anita Kumar

UPDATE 1:02 a.m.: With scanty, not-so-early returns showing Fenty behind and the clock dragging past midnight, his headquarters on Georgia Avenue has emptied out, with fewer than half the people at its height.

For a while, the music had been turned down very low, rising in volume just about the time that the few remaining TV anchors cued the Klieg lights for live 12:30 a.m. updates.

People are sitting on chairs or milling near the door waiting. And waiting. And waiting. At least there's a breeze coming in from the corner where the plate glass window shattered about 40 minutes ago.

Meanwhile, the Gray party was winding down as well, if more slowly. Some folks were been leaving, but lots of folks decided to stick around. There was booze and Beyonce (via DJ); why not stay?

-- Fredrick Kunkle and Henri E. Cauvin

UPDATE 12:12 a.m.: A man was injured when a huge pane of glass in Fenty headquarters broke and shattered. It was not clear how the glass broke or how he was injured.

A reporter with FT Merger Market said the man appeared to have fallen over a metal guide rail just outside the window of the former car dealership on Georgia Avenue.

The glass gave way and cascaded down. The man was conscious and talking to emergency workers on the scene before they put him in an ambulance about 12:10 a.m.

There was brief shoving match between some Fenty supporters and camera crews trying to cover the event, as the supporters tried to block the cameras with Fenty signs. But police and campaign volunteers quickly restored order and began sweeping up big shards of glass.

No word on the unidentified man's condition.

-- Fredrick Kunkle

UPDATE 12:03 a.m.: Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), who oversees the elections board and pushed for new election laws that established early voting and same-day registration, said the Board of Elections and Ethics mismanaged the primary.

"I'm so disappointed in this performance," she said. "From point one to point 10, we have colossal mismanagement."

At about 11:30 p.m., results still were trickling out of the elections board. Cheh said her staff watching elections workers told her that officials could not figure out how to transfer data to the Internet for distribution. Cheh was demanding that the board issue all results to the public.

"I don't care if they have to hang it on a chalkboard and wait for technology later," she said.

Cheh said she had scheduled an oversight hearing on the problems for Oct. 8.

Councilwoman Yvette Alexander, who was attending the Kwame Brown party at the Capitol Skyline Hotel, called the lack of results for the District's elections at midnight "ridiculous."

"The board wasn't prepared,'' she said. "There is no excuse for this."

Alexander said the Board of Elections and Ethics was "overwhelmed" with the large number ballots cast by District residents during voting early and should not have waited until Tuesday night to begin tabulating them.

-- Nikita Stewart and Anita Kumar

UPDATE 11:44 p.m.: As the hour approached 11:30 p.m., supporters of Kwame Brown grew tired -- and a little anxious -- as few precincts' results were available. Each time results flashed on a large video screen showing Brown leading opponent Vincent Orange, they applauded.

Kamal Ben Ali, 48, one of the owners of Ben's Chili Bowl, attended the party now filled with about 100 supporters. He said Brown represents a brand of new politician in the mold of Barack Obama and Adrian Fenty.

"He has youth, energy, vision,'' Ali said.

-- Anita Kumar

UPDATE 11:39 p.m.: The Vincent Gray campaign party erupted in cheers when Fox showed early returns

"One city, one city, one city, baby," one man shouted

Another held aloft a poster with Fenty's photo below three green letters: "BYE."

Robert Bobb, heading toward the party room, was asked if his appearance might mean a return to D.C. government if Gray were elected.

"I have a job to do in Detroit. I have a contract until March. Then I'm back full-time," said Bobb, who has been commuting from his home here to his post with the Detroit schools.

Jonice Gray Tucker stopped the music for a minute just after 11:30 to tell the ballroom full of supporters that good news was coming.

"We know that we will be celebrating a very big victory very soon," she said.

-- Henri E. Cauvin

UPDATE 11:34 p.m.: At Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's campaign headquarters, several hundred supporters -- mostly black, but also white, and nearly uniformly clad in green T-shirts and hats -- filled the stuffy showroom of a car dealership or spilled into the street while waiting for news.

As people talked and a mixture of hip-hop, go-go and soul cycled over the sound system, some started chanting "four more years!" shortly before a row of TV news anchors, some on risers and one on a folding chair, lined up before the cameras for a live 11 p.m. feed. But there was little to update and apparently little to cheer, as there were still scanty official returns reported from the polls that had closed three hours earlier.

Fenty's wife and parents had arrived at campaign headquarters by 10:45 p.m., awaiting word in an upstairs room of what used to be a former car dealership near Georgia and Missouri avenues, campaign spokesman Sean Madigan said. He said that he wasn't sure where the mayor was - probably with his children, waiting for results, Madigan said - but that Fenty would be able to cover the ground between his home and campaign headquarters in a matter of minutes because he lives around the corner.

Madigan said it was hard to judge early returns, which rollercoastered between Fenty and Gray. But Madigan said that reports from precinct captains and other on-the-street intelligence gave him confidence.

"I think we're hearing that, in the places we expected to do well, we're doing very, very well," Madigan said. Those areas include precincts in Dupont Circle, Eastern Market and Ward 3, he said. But early impressions were that the news, as expected, was not so good east of the river, where Gray was running strong, Madigan said.

Chris Donatelli, 42, president of Donatelli Development, said he believed that Fenty would pull off a victory. But Donatelli, who has built new mixed-use developments in the Petworth, Columbia Heights and U Street corridor, also acknowledged that the race has been tough because Fenty had jarred many people with the change he had promised to bring to the city four years ago.

"He's made a lot of tough changes in the past four years," Donatelli said. "I'm still hopeful that people can see through the short-term pain of these reforms."

-- Fredrick Kunkle

UPDATE 11:01 p.m.: As 11 p.m. approached, the ballroom was crowded with hundreds of Gray supporters. Scores more spilled into the hall and up into the lobby.

"Have you heard anything?" was the question of the night as eager supporters -- mostly dressed in Gray T-shirts, dark suits or dresses -- turned to anyone who looked in-the-know.

As he watched the news being shown on the big projection screen, Kevin Ellerbe, 47, of Fort Dupont explained his embrace of Gray and his abandonment of Fenty.

"He could have been mayor for life," Ellerbe said of Fenty, "but his arrogance got the best of him. I was one of his supporters."

-- Henri E. Cauvin

UPDATE 10:34 p.m.: Reporters, observers and pretty much everyone else are still waiting on the Board of Elections and Ethics to report the first tallies, which will be posted on the board Web site.

This year, for the first time, printouts are being made from each voting machine at each voting precinct, which credentialed election observers can watch, so some precinct numbers have started leaking out on Twitter.

Why, when the entire state of Delaware has reported results, are we still waiting? Elections officials are afraid of a repeat of 2008, when hastily released numbers included a faulty figure from an improperly downloaded cartridge, cueing chaos here at One Judiciary Square. They don't want that to happen again.

The first numbers are expected momentarily.

-- Mike DeBonis

UPDATE 10:11 p.m.: The party for Council Chairman candidate Kwame Brown is filling up. Nearly 75 supporters filled the ballroom at 9:30 p.m. Some spilled into an adjoining patio surrounding the swimming pool, enjoying Tuesday evening's mild weather as they waited for the man of the hour to arrive.

District businessman and resident Kris Hart credits Brown with helping him get a fair hearing after the city threatened to revoke the certificate of occupancy on one of his stores, Foggy Bottom Grocery.

Hart helped distributed lawn signs and hosted a fundraiser for the candidate in July that raised $4,000. Today, Hart worked the polls.

"I would do anything for Councilman Brown,'' he said. "I don't know if we'd be here without him. He's a hero to small business."

Victor Fenwick, who has known Brown for more than six years, said he has been volunteering for the candidate whenever he could. He sat with his wife and two friends wearing dark Brown T-shirts.

Fenwick, who lives in Northeast Washington and works in the radiology department at Washington Hospital Center, said he has long supported Brown because he has worked to give federal contracting jobs in the District to local companies and provide scholarships to high school students.

-- Anita Kumar

UPDATE 10:03 p.m.: Twenty minutes after the District's polls closed, the hip-hop was playing, volunteers were queuing for hot dogs or waving signs at passing cars on Georgia Avenue and supporters were predicting that Mayor Adrian M. Fenty would pull off a surprising comeback and prove opinion polls wrong.

"As the saying goes, it's not over til the fat lady sings," said Tracy Beatty, a lifelong city native who also works for the city. Beatty, who declined to give her age or identify which agency she worked for, said she supported Fenty because he's already shown he what he can do for the city.

"He's done a lot, as far as the District of Columbia," she said. But she also acknowledged that some of her friends had soured on the mayor, often for reasons they could not describe.

"I ask them to name me maybe five good reasons why they were pro-Gray and why they have been against Fenty," Beatty said. "Some are, like, 'Change. Change is good.' And some don't have an answer."

Some cars on Georgia Avenue tooted their horns in support of the mayor as she spoke, while a rapper chanted "Oh, you Fenty, huh?" from the speakers of a Chrysler parked near the line of news media satellite trucks.

"I think we won," said Ronald Moten, a friend and ally of the mayor's.

With a Fenty sticker flapping on his camouflage Nationals baseball cap, Moten said he did not believe the polls or the talk on the street that Fenty had alienated so many voters since his landside victory four years ago that he could not beat Gray.

"I was in Southeast most of the day, and there wasn't no 80 percent saying they weren't for Fenty," Moten said. "A lot of people came out and voted for us. I think the go-go helped a lot."

But Moten also acknowledged the city was deeply divided regarding Fenty's tenure, between black residents to the south and east and white residents in the north and west.

Moten said the belief that Fenty had turned his back on the black community was question of perception, not reality. Citing a Washington Post story that examined city spending and demonstrated that Fenty's administration had spread its public projects evenly around the city, Moten said that as the campaigners stepped up their work, they found that once people heard the story, disaffected voters began to come around.

"He's a man who kept his word," Moten said.

Across the street, at a Laundromat with a partly broken sign that spelled D-R-O-M-A-T, Gloria Claros, 42, a hotel housekeeper in the District, said she too supported Fenty. Folding laundry with her 10-year-old daughter, Kimberly, Claros said she believed Fenty had achieved progress in the city schools her two children attend.

"The students are doing a lot of work. The students are learning more," Claros said, speaking in Spanish. Claros, who has lived in Washington for 23 years, also said that Fenty had put young people to work.

But her support was only in spirit. Claros said she would have voted but could not, as she was only a legal resident of Guatemala, not a U.S. citizen registered to vote.

-- Fredrick Kunkle

UPDATE 9:22 p.m.: Elections officials have started the process of tabulating results on the second floor of the One Judiciary Square building downtown.

As machines arrive from polling places, staffers will compare downloaded numbers from electronic cartridges to printouts made at polling sites. After a final verification, results will then be posted to the board's Web site.

Initial tallies are expected by about 9:45 p.m. Officials will then upload precinct-by-precinct information; those totals will not be released until about 11:30 p.m. The count of early voting ballots, which the District is handling for the first time this year, will be released by midnight.

Among the observers at BOEE headquarters: Fenty campaign chair Bill Lightfoot, and former Mayor Sharon Pratt, a Gray supporter.

-- Mike DeBonis

UPDATE 9:08 p.m.: Two dozen supporters gathered at the Capitol Skyline Hotel in Southwest Washington awaiting the arrival of Council Chairman candidate Kwame Brown just before 9 p.m.

The party-goers listened to jazz from a live band while munching on hamburgers and macaroni and cheese and sipping on drinks from an open bar. Several were wearing Brown T-shirts or "I voted" stickers.

The ballroom was adorned with bunches of white and turquoise balloons with the words "Kwame for Council Chair" and photos of Brown.

Ruthann Saxman, 62, who called 181 potential voters between noon and 7 p.m. Tuesday on Brown's behalf, said she has supported him because of his work to get more beds and funding for the homeless. Saxman said she met Brown two years ago when she was homeless. She now rents a room in Northwest Washington.

"I know he's going to win,'' she said. "He's the best man for the job."

-- Anita Kumar

UPDATE 8:36 p.m.: Dozens of Gray supporters began filing into Grand Ballroom II at the Washington Court Hotel shortly before 8 p.m. to await the results of the vote.

The soft strumming of a three-man Andean folk band provided the early evening soundtrack.

A wooden podium emblazoned with a "One City" banner was set up on stage, which was flanked by two 7-1/2-by-10 feet projection screens bearing Vince Gray for Mayor in blue and white.

-- Henri E. Cauvin

UPDATE 8:10 p.m.: Fifteen minutes before the polls were scheduled to close, four campaign volunteers stood on the south side of Riggs Road NE, waving signs in the dark. Two were for Fenty, two were for Gray. There were no streetlights illuminating their signs.

So why bother?

"You just gotta hope," said Glenn Abraham, who had been holding a green Fenty sign for more than three hours. "You gotta hope somebody sees the green. I'm staying true to the end."

Abraham is the school suspension coordinator, baseball coach and basketball coach at LaSalle Elementary, a public school in Ward 4. He'd been monitoring precinct 65 at the school throughout the day. Gray volunteers had outnumbered Fenty's by a multiple.

"But I feel positive," he said.

-- J. Freedom du Lac

UPDATE 7:56 p.m.: A Superior Court judge has rejected a request by mayoral candidate Vincent C. Gray to extend voting hours past 8 p.m.

Judge Joan Zeldon issued the ruling after a 45-minute emergency hearing, calling the petition an "11th hour" request based on a "thin reed" of evidence.

Andrew Sandler, a lawyer representing Gray, argued that elections conducted in a "wholly inadequate way" deprived city residents of the right to vote. But lawyers for the city election board and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said those concerns were overstated and poorly documented.

-- Mike DeBonis

UPDATE 7:44 p.m.: Drivers on 13th Street NW were giving long honks to the Vince Gray sign-holders in front of precinct 48 at C. Melvin Sharpe Heath School.

Nearly 750 people had cast their ballots at the precinct by 5 p.m., said Donald Goings, precinct captain. His workers were waiting for the after-work rush.

Other than his workers getting used to the ePoll technology at the special ballot station, Goings said, "This place worked like clockwork."

Vivian Beatty, 56, a lifelong Ward 4 resident, said she voted for Gray because she "was just ready for a change."

Beatty's relative, Mildred Moseley, said she has lived in Ward 4 for all her 61 years "and this is the first time we have (a campaign sign) in our front yard ... we got one for Mr Gray. We have had enough of Fenty."

Moseley, who was on her way to church, said she thought Fenty could have done more to help senior citizens -- with home ownership and repairs, for example.

"D.C. will not recover from his mayorship in my lifetime," she said.

Gary Harris, a Ward 4 resident for more than 30 years, said he had been torn on his mayor vote.

"I don't think Gray did anything to win my vote, and Fenty was on the way to losing my vote," he said. "[Fenty] isn't the great communicator, but he has done some positive things. I gave him the benefit of the doubt."

-- Christy Goodman

UPDATE 7:31 p.m.: "I vote for Vince Gray because he is not a liar," said Lafayette Green, 50, a 30-year Ward 4 resident.

Green said he had 23 years in DCPS but was laid off for budget cuts. He said they found the money, but didn't give him his job back.

Green said he was once a resident of Forest Haven, which was built for children with special needs. He said he was a student of Gray's and became a counselor and teacher's assistant.

"The man done a lot. If it weren't for Vince Gray, I wouldn't be where I am. I'm just trying to keep it real," he said. "I'm just telling the truth."

-- Christy Goodman

UPDATE 7:24 p.m.: In addition to sporadic touch-screen glitches, the old paper ballot system proved problematic -- at least at precinct 65, where the ballot scanner still was locked when polls opened.

Turns out the key hadn't been delivered to precinct captain Linda Lewis.

"She never got it, so she has my keys now," said Board of Elections and Ethics area representative Ralph Davis. Lewis said the problem was resolved within 10 minutes.

But Cherita Whiting, a Gray and Mendelson volunteer, said she voted at LaSalle Elementary at 7:30 a.m. -- "and there was a stack of ballots just sitting on the table. That means they'd been sitting there unsecured for a half-hour."

Lewis said the paper ballots never were unsecured. "That's not true," she said.

-- J. Freedom du Lac

UPDATE 7:13 p.m.: At Peace Lutheran Church in Capitol View, the touch-screen machine was not working until a technician arrived at 9 40 a.m., according to two poll watchers. Voters were able to vote by paper ballot.

At St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, Precinct 110 -- the third-largest in the city -- the touch-screen machine was not working until around 7 30 a.m., said precinct captain Thelma Johnson. Paper voting went smoothly.

At Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church (Precinct 108), the touch-screen was not working until about 7:30 a.m., said Carolyn Stevens, precinct captain.

River Terrace Elementary School (101) and Smothers Elementary School (98) had delays in availability of the touch-screen machines because they were delivered to the wrong locations. The two precincts had to swap machines, according to Sheila Washington, precinct 98 captain.

-- Annys Shin

UPDATE 6:56 p.m.: Mayoral candidate Vincent C. Gray has petitioned D.C. Superior Court to grant an extension of today's voting hours.

Attorneys for Gray and for the Board of Elections and Ethics are appearing in Judge Joan Zeldon's courtroom for an emergency hearing.

Updates to come.

-- Mike DeBonis

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: D.C., united?

Not at James and Andrea Simms' house. The young couple disagreed on the matter of the District's next mayor.

"Gray," James said. "Fenty," Andrea said. They'd just voted at LaSalle Elementary in Ward 4.

"It's a split household," he said. But they'd both wavered.

"I think Fenty did a lot of good; the city's in good shape," said James, a budget analyst. He went with Gray because he didn't like Fenty's governing style.

Andrea, a software engineer, was was leaning toward Gray, too. Then, on Election Day, she decided that she'd give Fenty four more years. She still seemed torn moments after casting her ballot.

"It was a hard decision," she said. "I really went back and forth."

Fun night ahead at home?

"Nah, we definitely won't argue about it," James said.

-- J. Freedom du Lac

UPDATE 6:05 p.m.: Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, campaigning on Wisconsin Avenue in Woodley Park, was focused on shaking hands with voters as his campaign's lawyers were waiting for the Board of Elections to respond to a request, made by the campaign for Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, to extend poll hours.

"Whatever they decide, we're willing to live with, obviously," Fenty said as passersby honked their horns and cheered for the mayor.

-- Nikita Stewart

UPDATE 5:51 p.m.: Attorneys for Vincent C. Gray are in the process of compiling specific allegations about voter irregularities from today, which they will pass to the Board of Elections and Ethics in support of their request to extend elections by two hours, to 10 p.m.

Board attorney Kenneth McGhie particularly was troubled by the allegation that some polls opened "several hours" late, noting that he had not been made aware of any such allegations today.

"I would have heard about that," he said.

Once the Gray campaign provides the specifics, McGhie said, he will consult with precinct captains and make a recommendation to the board members.

Meanwhile Fenty's high-powered election attorney, Marc Elias of Perkins Coie, has taken up position in the lobby of the BOEE headquarters.

"I'm just sitting," he said.

-- Mike DeBonis

UPDATE 5:47 p.m.: Stan Turner was undecided about his mayoral pick when he arrived at LaSalle Elementary in Ward 4. He wound up voting for Fenty.

"I'm pretty indecisive; I literally [went Fenty] when I walked in," said Turner, a 25-year-old administrative assistant at a public policy group. "I just figured I'd give him another chance at it. But it was a tough decision."

Turner wasn't sure what he'd tell his best friend, a public school teacher in the District who is anti-Rhee and, therefore, pro-Gray.

"Maybe I'll say I voted for Gray," Turner said. He was half-joking. "It's been a divisive issue at times."

-- J. Freedom du Lac

UPDATE 5:31 p.m. Lawyers for mayoral candidate Vincent C. Gray are now in discussions with Board of Elections and Ethics attorney Kenneth McGhie.

They are discussing the "exact precincts and exact allegations" referred to in Gray's letter referencing voting problems, a board spokeswoman said -- raising the possibility that extensions might only be granted to some trouble-prone polling sites.

-- Mike Debonis

UPDATE 5:26 p.m.: The man who calls himself "The Golden Voice of D.C." had a message for Ward 8, a section of the city that is expected to support Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray by a wide margin Tuesday. And while he may have been preaching to the choir, it didn't stop Lewis Watts from using his bullhorn to amplify his baritone along Alabama Avenue SE.

"That's right ladies and gentlemen! Today is September 14. Time to vote!" yelled Watts, a campaign worker for Gray who says he has walked the streets east of the Anacostia in similar fashion on Election Day for nearly 30 years -- usually in support of Marion Barry's mayoral races. "Time to vote for Gray! Number One on your ballot. Vote! Vote! Vote!"

"That's right, tell 'em!" yelled a man from a car.

"Amen!" yelled another supporter from across Martin Luther King Avenue.

"We gotta get this boy outta office!" Lewis continued, referring to Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, as he made a left at 4th Street SE and headed toward Ballou High School. "It's gonna happen y'all. He has no vision! No compassion! Go to your Ward! Go to your precinct! But vote! Vote! Vote! Let's do it today!"

A teenage girl, looking much younger than voting age, walked up to Watts: "I'll vote for Gray if you give me a T-shirt," she said.

Lewis smiled but kept on: "Let's take back this city! Let's bring this city back! No more cronyism!"

Watts continued down 4th past Savannah Street, exchanging a high five with a supporter.

"I've been out here since 6," he said, taking a moment to reflect on making a similar effort for Barry years ago. A pair of too-young-to-vote students, still in their uniforms, scampered beside Watts, expressing their support for Fenty. Watts smiled and shook his head.

"I used to say: 'Marion Barry is back, y'all! Marion Barry is the champion ... he's back. y'all.' " He chuckled.

"We need a change again," he would say later, making his way back toward Alabama Avenue. "We need a new champ."

-- Chris L. Jenkins

UPDATE 5:12 p.m.: Reports of light voter turnout across the city had not reached precinct 59 in Ward 4 by late afternoon. Precinct captain Shirley Dowtie surveyed a crowd of nearly three dozen voters at Coolidge High and shrugged.

"We've been busy in here all day," she said. "We've had a steady flow, like most mayor's races. The people in precinct 59 usually vote."

Dowtie might know: She's worked elections in the precinct since 1968.

The latest primary began inauspiciously, as the touch-screen voting machine was not working when polls opened.

"I got upset," Dowtie said. "But the technician fixed it; they were in and out of here in no time."

While the machine was being repaired, voters were given paper ballots, Dowtie said.

"I like the paper ballots," she confided. "I like the count they give you."

-- J. Freedom du Lac

UPDATE 5:06 p.m.: The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics does not plan any immediate action on Vincent Gray's request for a two-hour poll extension. The campaign's request has been forwarded to board attorney Kenneth McGhie, who will review the letter and make a recommendation to board members Togo West and Charles Lowery.

West left the board's downtown headquarters shortly before 5 p.m. to inspect polling locations. "I have nothing for you to report," he said. Asked by a Post reporter how to parse that statement, he added, "there's nothing to parse."

West said he would return from the polls at 7 p.m. McGhie was not yet at board headquarters at 5 p.m., but was expected shortly thereafter.

The Gray campaign asked for a reply by 5 p.m. and indicated it would seek a Superior Court injunction to force an extension if it did not.

-- Mike DeBonis

UPDATE 4:41 p.m.: Mayoral candidate Vincent C. Gray officially has petitioned the Board of Elections and Ethics to extend voting citywide two hours past the scheduled 8 p.m. close, citing problems "much more severe and widespread than the BOEE has acknowledged."

The letter cites delays and late openings -- "in some cases by several hours" -- voters turned away from polling sites, the "widespread failure of electronic voting machines" and a "consistent lack of adequate access to operable machines and ballots."

"Certainly such widespread denial of access to polling precincts to eligible voters, failure of voting machines, and late opening of precincts calls for such a corrective measure," writes Gray attorney Lloyd Jordan.

The letter asks for a response by 5 p.m. and indicates that the Gray campaign is willing to go to D.C. Superior Court if the request is not granted.

BOEE chairman Togo D. West Jr. is on the scene at the board's downtown headquarters.

"I've come from some polls, and I didn't see any long lines," he said.

West said he would sit down with fellow board member Charles Lowery post-haste. "I've got to find him first," he said. "I think he's on the move."

-- Mike DeBonis

UPDATE 4:27 p.m.: Take a look at the latest tweets on today's D.C. primaries.

No one at my polling place was bothering with new machines. Eager poll worker standing by to help, just in case. #dcvote #votedcless than a minute ago via Echofon

Mayor Fenty & Jack Evans @ Shiloh Baptist Church- Rode by on my bike & Fenty waved & yelled across the street asking if I had voted. #votedcless than a minute ago via web

Our former Metro chairman....Jim Graham's sweet ride outside the Trinity AME on 16th #votedc than a minute ago via web

Some more color from Twitter updates with the #votedc and #dcvote hashtags:

I was voter #178 at Precinct 131 at 2 pm. Yikes? #votedcless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

I voted and all I got was this lousy sticker. #votedcless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

In DC today, the "I Voted" sticker is to last-minute campaigners what kryptonite is to Superman #dcvoteless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  September 14, 2010; 11:01 PM ET
Categories:  2010 District Election , Ann E. Marimow , Ben Pershing , City Life , D.C. Council , Jim Graham , Kwame Brown , Mayor Fenty , Mike DeBonis , Nikita Stewart , Tim Craig  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Transcripts: Mayor Fenty, Council Chair Gray on CNN earlier today
Next: Full text: Vincent Gray's victory speech in mayor's race

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