- The Washington Times - Monday, June 13, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Tuesday is Democratic primary day in the District of Columbia, and no surprises are expected.

Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton — er, Hillary Clinton — is going to win the presidential primary by a landslide.

Whether the turnout is commensurate to the number of registered Democrats in the city will remain uncertain until the D.C. Board of Elections (BOE) certifies the count. Yet, even then, the number of bona fide voters who cast bona fide ballots is questionable.

Dated exactly one week prior to primary day, an Office of the D.C. Auditor report found the BOE lacking — seriously lacking — in the accountability department.

In short, the auditor found that: “Overall, we found that the District’s voter file contained inaccuracies that could have been prevented if the BOE had made additional efforts to comply with federal and local laws designed to ensure proper voter file maintenance. Specifically, we found that the BOE’s compliance efforts lacked effective policies and procedures as well as monitoring and enforcement to ensure the removal of deceased voter records, duplicate voter records, and correct voter records with inaccurate birth years from the District’s voter file, as required. The BOE also could improve its voter file list maintenance by using new information systems and improving its communication with the District’s eight VRAs.”

VRA stands for “voter registration agencies.” There are eight of them, including the Department of Motor Vehicles, which will claim you owe payment for a ticket on a vehicle you never owned, and the Department of Parks and Recreation, which should have no access to voter information, and the Office on Aging — two agencies that should not have their hands on vital voter information.

For sure, it helps to explain the election board’s poor oversight and lax enforcement.

To wit, the auditor cited problems with critical voter data, including inaccurate birth years, failure to remove duplicate voter registrants and failure to remove the names of dead people. Auditor Kathy Patterson also said the names of incarcerated felons were still on voter rolls.

This is a sample of the mismanagement stunners: “Our review of the District’s Voter Registration File revealed that it contains 6,543 voter registration records with dates of birth listed between 1800 and 1899,” the auditor said.

Were they all named Methuselah?

Why Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Council were unaware of these in-house BOE issues is indefensible — politically and ethically. That the BOE is not following local and federal laws and regulations is unconscionable.

Clearly, D.C. Democrats and progressives are the foxes in the election board’s hen house.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at [email protected]


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