Concerns About DC Elections Board Raised as Primary Approaches

With D.C.’s primary election just more than three months away, concerns the troubled Board of Elections won’t be ready were raised at a D.C. Council hearing Tuesday.

Long-time civic activist Dorothy Brizill of DC Watch said she fears the board will have yet another bad election night counting votes for the June 14 city primary and presidential balloting.

“Nothing seems to change,” she said. “I am here today to say things are far worse at the Board of Elections than I have ever seen them.”

The three-member board has two vacancies, a court is questioning the legality of key decisions made by holdovers, the office is behind on getting new voter equipment and training workers, and there is no permanent executive director.

“I can also share my own frustration that we aren't seeing the sort of progress we should see,” Council Judiciary Committee Chairman Kenyan McDuffie said.

Brizill criticized him for his mild-mannered response.

“Perhaps because you're a lawyer or you're trying to be a nice guy, you’re not using stronger language, but I will,” she said. “There's something criminal that went on."

When McDuffie tried to engage her further, she walked out.

The Board of Elections then announced it expects to get new voting equipment next week and will start training workers.

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