- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
Voter turnout tepid in special election for D.C. Council
Scattered problems at polls mar vote
Lukewarm turnout and a few scattered problems at the polls marked a special election Tuesday to fill an at-large D.C. Council seat.
Incumbent Sekou Biddle, who was appointed in January to the at-large seat vacated when Kwame R. Brown took office as council chairman, said he felt confident before voting at Shepherd Park Elementary School.
“I feel like we worked really hard to run a good campaign,” he said, asking rival campaign volunteers if they had “any last-minute suggestions” before he strode into the school to cast his vote alongside his wife, Cara.
Election results were not available Tuesday evening.
Among a handful of problems reported, people at Shepherd Park said the polls did not open until 7:15 a.m., prompting some potential voters to leave.
The precinct captain had forgotten to unlock the doors while she searched for a checklist, according to election officials. About 10 voters left, noting they would come back later in the day, and the “highly experienced” captain has apologized, D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics spokeswoman Alysoun McLaughlin said.
Some locations had minor power problems, and precincts in Foggy Bottom and Glover Park had each other’s poll books, prompting a 15-minute delay to arrange a swap.
Mr. Orange’s foot soldiers were stationed at polling places along the South Dakota Avenue corridor in Northeast, relatively secure ground for the former Ward 5 council member.
“So I support him 100 percent,” she said, exiting the LaSalle-Backus Education Campus on Riggs Road in Northeast.
Bunker Hill voter Brenda Gaines said Mr. Orange was the only candidate she recognized from the campaign trail.
Turnout is historically low in D.C. special elections, with only 7.5 percent of eligible voters showing up for a special election in 1997, according to Ms. McLaughlin.
The pleasant weather should have been a boon for voter turnout, yet voters were returning to their routines after religious holidays and spring break for D.C. schoolchildren, observers said.
In Northwest, the Georgetown Library recorded fewer than 100 votes in the opening four hours, with only a handful of signs lining the R Street sidewalk to indicate Tuesday was an election.
St. Thomas’ Episcopal Parish in Northwest had a bit more traffic, with 130 voters coming through its Church Street doors by 11:15 a.m.
“We just had a board rep come by, and he said we were doing way better than some of the neighboring precincts,” precinct captain Bob Cardis said.
The 28-year veteran election volunteer said for a special election “it’s a little busier than we were expecting.”
Tuesday night results are considered unofficial until absentee, provisional and curbside ballots, for seniors and the disabled, are counted in the next 10 days, Ms. McLaughlin said. Those ballots can account for as much as 10 percent to 15 percent of the vote, potentially leaving the outcome up in the air.
Republican Patrick Mara, who garnered an endorsement form The Washington Post, as well as Democrats Bryan Weaver and Joshua Lopez, had come also on strong in ambitious campaigns.
Democrats Tom Brown and Dorothy Douglas, independent Arkan Haile and Statehood Green Party candidate Alan Page were also on the ballot.
Mary Braden, who voted at St. Thomas Episcopal, said she’s “very unhappy with the D.C. Council” and wants an independent thinker who will not go with the herd.
“I voted for someone really obscure, who probably will not win,” Ms. Braden said. “I’m voting today because I always do. I feel it’s important, even if it doesn’t seem important.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- New tool helps figure Obamacare penalties
- Tax-prep firms pitch in, cash in on Obamacare
- Obama tries to reassure Hispanics on Obamacare
- Half of uninsured look to Obamacare exchanges for coverage
- Another Obamacare deadline moved: Non-compliant plans get 2-year extension
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Otter attacks, kills alligator at Florida wildlife refuge
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- R-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means for Obama
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again