Tim Britt’s Nominating Petition Omitted Key Dates: Mistakes Considered Irreparable by DC Board of Elections
By Larry Janezich
Additional information about the removal of candidate Tim Britt’s name from the ballot provided by the DC Board of Elections on Friday morning reveals that, in addition to the single ineligible signature on the petition, eight signatures were undated, an omission that rendered those entries invalid and beyond redemption.
The Board held a “prehearing” meeting with the candidate and challenger on Monday. The prehearing is held, according to a Board of Election official, to “provide an opportunity for the two parties to agree what to do next.” Britt was told by Board a representative at that time that one of his signatures was that of an unregistered individual, and thus invalid. In addition, he was told that 8 signatures were invalid because they were not dated. Confronted with this information, Britt had no choice but to withdraw the petition. Except for the failure to enter a date, the 8 signatures were otherwise valid. Although the Board of Elections provides an opportunity for post-submission validation of petition signatures of registered voters who have a new address, there is no post-submission “cure” for undated signatures or unregistered signers.
A Board representative said that candidates are advised by staff to “check over” the petition when they submit it, but said that the candidate is responsible for making sure the information is accurate and complete. When asked why the Board does not offer more service to political newcomers who are subject to rules designed to root out political malfeasance but which, in this instance, punish an oversight that then disqualifies them for the ballot, the DC Board of Elections underscored the fact that it is the candidate’s responsibility to make sure signatures and petitions are correct.
For this reason, Kirsten Oldenburg, one of three commissioners to be censured during the current term of ANC 6B for a violation of its bylaws, will be running unopposed on the ballot. Of the other two censured ANC6B Commissioners, Dave Garrison is also running unopposed for reelection. The third commissioner – Norm Metzger – is not seeking reelection.
6 responses to “Tim Britt’s Nominating Petition Omitted Key Dates: Mistake Considered Irreparable by DC Board of Elections”
Regarding “For this reason, Kirsten Oldenburg, one of three commissioners to be censured”.
Is this article a news report or a personal commentary?
Mr. Britt did not do a complete and thorough job of collecting signatures – a simple and straight forward task compared to the complexities of actually serving as an ANC commissioner. Mr. Britt has no one to blame but himself for not being on the ballot. And there is no need to use his failure as an occasion to make negative comments about Ms. Oldenburg.
Rules designed to detect malfeasance are now disqualifying political neophytes for not knowing the rules of the game. If the DBOEE is prepared to disqualify on such trivial grounds, they should check for the information upon submission or they should offer a path for a remedy.
I won’t remark on the two comments above. They speak for themselves. The censure vote is a matter of record; frankly, it is not talked about enough; and it is interesting fact that, as those present at the meeting will recall, in some instances fellow commissioners gave Oldenberg, Metzger, and Garrison the benefit of doubt, punishing only inescapable violations of the bylaws rather than throwing the book at them. I guess, contrary to conventional wisdom, those shown mercy are not disposed to give it…?
I hope that Tim Britt makes up for lost ground, and lost confidence, as he puts together his write-in campaign.
aug. 24, 2012
excellent comments. tnk u.
i too hope Tim Britt makes up for lost ground as he moves forward in his write-in campaign.
u wrote, ” in some instances fellow commissioners gave Oldenberg, Metzger, and Garrison the benefit of doubt, punishing only inescapable violations of the bylaws rather than throwing the book at them. ” THAT is the problem with our elected officials, be they our ANC reps or our city council members. They ‘take care of each other’ AND business doners INSTEAD of looking after the people they represent, the voters.
I am not a fan of Ms. Oldenburg and often question her votes on key issues. But lets be realistic here. This process for gaining access on the ballot for an ANC position does not take a PhD in rocket science. The ANC candidate needs to turn in 25 valid signatures from a list provided by the DC Board of Elections which list the valid voters and their addresses in the Single Member District. So the candidate knows where to go to find a valid voter.
The petition itself, on the back, under instructions to the circulator specifies the need that the printed name, address and date signed (all underlined) must appear in the space provided to assure that the signature will be counted as a valid signature. Mr. Britt (or his circulator) did not do his homework and read his own petition and follow the instructions.
If their is enough opposition to Ms. Oldenberg in the SMD then Mr. Britt should find enough volunteers to run an effective write-in campaign.
Ms. Oldenberg has been an ineffective ANC Commissioner, and has not been responsive to constituent complaints. We need someone new. I’m not sure whether Mr. Britt is the right person for the job or not. Does anyone have an email address for him, or other means of contacting him? I’d be curious to hear his views.