The District

Vote Today. It’s Important

The exercise of your franchise as a citizen is the simplest task. Show up, prove who you are (photo ID not required, most times), push buttons or circle in ovals, file your ballot, and walk out whistling a happy tune. The whole thing can be a process, I know, but today you have the benefit of voting in a special election, which means turnout across the city is going to be light, which means there will be no lines. 

Don’t know where to vote? No problem.

Not sure if you’re registered? No problem. (If the answer is no, also no problem, you can vote in DC on a same-day registration. You need a District ID, a lease or utility bill with your name, or a bank statement in your name, a paycheck with your name and address, or another government document with your name and address.)

So. What are you voting for?

First up is the easy one: an amendment to the District’s Charter. This amendment, if approved, would grant the District direct control over revenue paid by District residents.  Currently, all revenue for the District is subject to the interference by the Congress, where we have no representation. This amendment would allow the District Government to directly appropriate tax dollars collected by the city instead of passing them to the Federal government and requesting them back. 

This one’s a no brainer.

The next one is a lot more interesting, and a lot less clear: an At-Large member of the Council of the District of Columbia. When Kwame Brown resigned, and Phil Mendelson filled his chair in the November election by popular vote, his own At-Large seat went vacant. It has been held since then by Anita Bonds, who put there by Democratic Party fiat. The election today fills that seat until the 2014 general election, the rest of Mendelson’s original term.

Who’s running? Anita Bonds (D), Matthew Frumin (D), Elissa Silverman (D), Paul Zukerberg (D), Patrick Mara (R), and Perry Redd (SG). 

That’s four Democrats, one Republican and a Statehood Green. I can’t tell you who to vote for – that’s not our job – but many say that this is a three-way race between Bonds, who represents an older, more traditional DC, and Mara and Silverman, who each represent reform for the city Council. Mara is on his third run for the council, all three from the Republican side of the aisle, something the council hasn’t seen since Carol Schwartz was bounced during a primary (she lost to Mara). Silverman is on her first run for the council, and is on leave from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, a think tank that works on DC budget issues.  Before serving at DCFPI, she was a Loose Lips columnist for Washington City Paper.

Mara, Silverman and Bonds are likely going to duke it out over a very few votes, so if you want to feel like you have outsize influence in a local election, today’s your day to go out and vote. Go vote, you’ll feel better no matter what happens.

News, The District, The Features

All About Voting Centers

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘nevermindtheend’

The news came out about a week ago, that DC was considering moving to voting centers for the special election in April.  Since there, there’s been a lot to say on both sides of the issue, and some excellent points made by both sides about what it would mean to cut the budget for elections in the city.

Some have said that cutting back on voting is cutting back on government legitimacy.  If this new plan to move to voting centers dramatically alters the turnout of an election, or if the placement of the polls is such that prevents people from attending, I might agree with that contention.  Instead, it seems to be a way to increase turnout while also lowering costs.

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All Politics is Local, The Daily Feed

Virginians: Time to VOTE!

Photo courtesy of
‘Polling Place Sign’
courtesy of ‘moonShadows7′

Good morning Virginians! The polls all across the commonwealth just opened. It’s voting day. Time to do your civic duty and cast your ballot! While the most talked about contest is definitely the race for governor between Bob McDonnell (R) and Creigh Deeds (D), you also will be casting a vote for lieutenant governor, attorney general and your local state representative in the VA House of Delegates. Depending on your locality, you probably also have a few other local positions to decide on; in Arlington, that would be a seat on the county board and one on the school board. After tomorrow, NO MORE CAMPAIGN ADS!

If you need to know where your polling place is or how to get there, get all the info here or just enter your address in the handy little map below (after the jump)!

Polls are open from 6am to 7pm. VOTE!

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All Politics is Local, The Daily Feed

Obama Made Me Cry Last Night

Photo by kcivey

Yeah, last night he did. This jaded Washingtonian, who tries to live in DC totally separate from politicians and the whole “The Hill” establishment, who hasn’t voted in years (my dirty secret, now exposed) actually wept after watching Obama’s infomerical.

Beyond who you are voting for, or even this election, this is the type of political ad we should be seeing from our politicians. Ones that offer hope and guidelines of what they promise to do. Not more sniping and backstabbing.

Maybe then we can have people refer to Washington DC in the positive instead of the pejorative sense. And I’d be able to fraternize with “Hill People” without that dirty feeling.