District Digest: Board of Elections blunders and full bloom approacheth

DSC_0567D.C. Board of Elections tells people they can only vote in one place

Early voting begins next week for a special election to fill the at-large D.C. Council seat vacated by Phil Mendelson after he was elected the Council’s chairman. Also on the ballot is D.C.’s budget autonomy referendum. In a mailer to voters, the D.C. Board of Elections wrote that “One Judiciary Square is the only vote center open for this election,” prompting confusion among city residents and D.C. government officials alike.

Contrary to what the mailer seems to purport, there won’t be one, solitary polling place open for the election. Rather, there will be only one early voting location open for early voting. According to the executive director of the D.C. Board of Elections Clifford Tatum, clearer postcards will be sent out to D.C. households for a price of $30,000 to the District government.

Tatum, who signed off on the faulty postcards, said he didn’t think it would be a problem because he thought average citizens would be able to read into his jargon. “I didn’t think there would be confusion between vote centers and polling places,” he told the Washington Post. “On Election Day, we open polling places, not vote centers. I didn’t think that our voters would read it that way.”

Thank God the cherry blossoms are all right

The region’s most recent cold snap has pushed the expected peak-bloom date for D.C.’s iconic cherry blossoms back for a few days. The Washington Post is now predicting that peak blooming will center around Apr. 7 to 10, instead of its previously forecasted Apr. 3 to 7 window.

Carol Johnson of the National Park Service agrees with the Post‘s assessment, saying that the peak bloom will come in later than expected. A full list of Cherry Blossom Festival events can be found on its website.

Michael Brown terminates at-large D.C. Council Bid

Last night, former D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown unexpectedly dropped out of the D.C.-wide election to fill a vacant at-large council seat, citing “some very important personal and family matters that require my immediate attention.” Some momentum had been mounting for the Democrat: He won a Mar. 16 straw poll of Ward 8 Democrats, a constituency he was relying on. It’s unclear at this point weather his decision to drop out had to do with allegations of misconduct after $114,000 disappeared from his campaign bank account.

File Photo: Jue Chen/Georgetown Voice

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