21.19% of Registered District Residents Voted For…

Photo by PoPville flickr user Tim Brown

Congrats to primary winners Hillary Clinton, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Robert White (At Large Council), Jack Evans (Ward 2), Brandon Todd (Ward 4), Vincent C. Gray (Ward 7), Trayon “Ward Eight” White (Ward 8).

You can see all the results including number of votes and percentages here.

177 Comment

  • I saw Trayvon White’s “Ward Eight” nickname listed on the board of elections site. What’s the deal with this?

    • People really do call him that in public. Overheard: “Hey everybody, look! It’s Ward Eight White! Hi, Ward Eight White!”

    • That’s ‘cuz he legally changed his middle name to ‘Ward Eight’. Insane but pretty hilarious too.

  • Bernie? Sure, I voted for him. Not that I think he’d make an effective president. But since the candidate has already been determined, I wanted to have a vote in for the democratic socialist ideals. Not that they will make any difference to the party’s candidate.

    • NH Ave Hiker

      That was my reasoning too. Made me feel better ha

    • I think he would have made a good president. Perhaps not successful in achieving all of his goals, but I would have trusted his judgement. Was very proud of my vote. Look forward to him returning to the Senate with some clout. Hope the rest of his supporters remain engaged. Despite what other internet forums might suggest, I think his supporters will heavily support liberal/progressive Democrats while a 1/3 or a 1/4 will go Green or Independent.

    • Call me cynical, but anyone elected to that office will either have to get on board with the powers that be, or will soon be dead.

  • OMG — Robert White won?!? This is a pleasant surprise!

    • Yeah, wasn’t expecting that. I was torn between him and Garber and had second thoughts after I cast my ballot for White. I think Garber better represents my interests but thought either was a better choice than Orange and was worried about splitting the vote. I’m glad I made the right choice.

      • Curious as to why Garber better represents your interests. I want to have an openly gay person on the council who will represent that part of my issues, as it has made a huge difference in the past in DC. But I just couldn’t see Garber as that guy – he seems unfocused, and not openly gay for very long at all, so I doubted he would be an effective council member even on gay issues.

        • He’s probably more in tune with gay issues than the two straight guys on the ballot. So saying Garber better represents doesn’t necessarily mean he ideally represents.

          But yeah, I voted for Garber. The city has a fairly large LGBT population and short of Catania, who was a Republican, we have not had much representation or visibility on the city council. Reason enough for me.

          I also worried the vote would split, and clearly it was close, but glad Robert White won if Garber could not.

  • Only 21 % of registered voters voted? This was only of the hottest elections in a long time (presidential primary, Vince Grey’s return, at-large, etc). I wonder why so low.

    • I’m guessing it was because the presidential primary had already been decided. I knew that, and felt like voting in it was pointless. But, being the good citizen that I am, I looked up the council races, and saw that the at-large seat mattered, even though my ward had no race this year. So I read up on the candidates, and went and cast a vote for Robert White, though everything I read said Orange was a shoo-in, that White and Garber would split the opposition vote. So, like textdoc, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he won.

      • I did exactly the same thing. Good thing a few of us had the same thought process!

      • I don’t know about in other neighborhoods and granted I’m from Florida where you can’t ignore election day, but I didn’t think there was a lot of attention on this election. I almost forgot it was election day.

    • palisades

      It was a hot presidential election like 2 months ago. The media decided Clinton won and that was that. I’m sure if our primaries were the same time as the Republican’s, it may have been a little more contested.

      • Um, actually I think reality decided it.

        • Yes, I don’t understand why Bernie supporters think the primary was rigged or stolen. even if you get rid of all of the superdelegates and go with the popular vote, she still won. By quite a margin.

          • My favorite part is when they blame the media for deciding the winner. The media a) has every incentive to make things look more competitive than they are (and they probably did so here, since Bernie lost on most metrics a long time ago), and b) would prob way prefer to cover Sanders than Clinton, give how much animus she’s developed for the media over the past 24 years.

        • That’s a really powerful argument, JohnH. Thank you for your contribution.

          • KG, where should we start? With the DNC scheduling less than a dozen debates, compared to 26 in 2008? Voters in the country are low-information and name recognition means a lot. The list goes on and on… But if you want to look at rigged elections, look at the 100k+ voters purged in Brooklyn and the number of polling places closed in Maricopa County, AZ. Both of the Democratic candidates thought something smelled off.

          • Sure, but that doesn’t mean it was rigged for Hillary. The evidence indicates she won Brooklyn and likely most of those purged would have also voted for her.

            Same in Arizona.

            Give up the ghost people. She won, soundly, and fairly and squarely. She also won nearly every one of the debates they did have, so not sure why people continue to trot that out as detrimental to Bernie. This is what happens when you’re a well known establishment figure. Bernie knew that going in. He ran a strong campaign. Props to him for that. But it isn’t exactly anyone’s fault that she’s more well known. It is what it is and is hardly a cause for complaint. If after 25 years in Congress Bernie has not made a name for himself (unlike Warren, who has only been there a few years), that says something about him I guess.

      • Whether you like it or not, the voters decided Hillary won.

      • palisades

        I should have been more clear. The media decided she won it 2 months ago. In fact, the media decided she won it before the election cycle even began. I know she has it now.

    • The true percentage is a little higher (closer to 30%) as not all registered voters are eligible to vote in party primaries. About 70k registered voters have no party affiliation in DC.

      • I blame the almost 6,500 DC voters on the rolls who were born between 1800-1899 – I mean, where were they???

    • As I found out last night, DC recently changed a law so that voters can only cast a vote at their precinct. I thought I had updated my registration when I moved to a different precinct, but I when I went to vote last night, I found out that somehow that change did not go through. The poll worker told me I would have to go to my old polling place– but as it was across the city I could not make it in time. She also refused to give me a provisional ballot– said they would just throw it away anyway once they saw that it was for an old address. There were at least 8 other people who were told the same thing in just the 5 minutes I was there. And I’ve heard the same thing from friends at other polling places. It seemed to be a fairly pervasive issue– the poll worker said she’d been dealing with this all day.

      • So it sounds like it is your fault for not checking your voter registration and understanding the rules. That said, you could have voted early anywhere in the city that had early voting. Even outside of your precinct. I voted early, there was literally not one person in line, and my friend who was with me, who had moved just three weeks ago, was allowed to vote despite the fact his address had not been updated. So perhaps there is some inconsistency, but she told him that you get one freebie – you can vote once on your old address but after that you have to have it updated to vote.

        I’ve lived here for nearly 20 years. You’ve always been restricted on day of voting to where you are registered. There is no excuse for not knowing that.

        • Agreed. No excuses. The internet makes it too easy to know these things.

        • Please don’t be so quick to blame the OP (Disenfranchised). Similar thing happened to me last night. I moved earlier this year and updated my registration. I checked my registration on the DC BOEE website before heading to my new polling location. Once I got there, I was told that I needed to go back to my old polling location because only my old address showed up on the poll workers’ tablets. I used my phone to pull up my online registration showing my new address on the DC BOEE website, but to no avail. This was less half an hour before polls closed so I had to get an Uber to book it down to my old polling location, where the poll workers didn’t quite know what to do with my situation. In the end, I was allowed to vote, but it was very frustrating to say the least. And yes, I was also told that “this sort of thing has been happening all day.”

          • Just to be clear, the point I was trying to make is that DC BOEE was clearly experiencing some issues with their voter registration database. Even though I had registered my change of address and received my new voter ID card in the mail, and even though the DC BOEE website had my updated address, the poll workers somehow only had my old information.

          • Having this new tablet system, which is a completely different database from the voter list, is ridiculous. It clearly disenfranchised people.
            I realized the tablet was wrong when it smashed my first and middle names together, without even a capital in the middle. I have always been registered first, middle, last name. So I filled out a form to change my registration to first, last. I though they just computerized the list (that used to be printed out on paper) and made errors. But, apparently, there are two different lists. As I found when I checked my name later yesterday on the online list of voters recently released – there I was, first, middle, last, as always. Whey do they have a tablet system full of errors? The error for me didn’t disenfranchise me, but apparently, for those who have moved and registered, it did.

          • Yep, that’s exactly what happened to me. I had changed my registration at the DMV when I moved. When I got home after trying to vote, I checked the DC BOEE system and it had my new address. But the poll worker’s tablets did not– and that was all that mattered. Regardless, I found it very disheartening that while I was at the polls, more people were turned away (for various reasons) than allowed to vote. Turn out may have been low, but that doesn’t mean that only 21% tried to vote. It shouldn’t be so difficult to participate.

        • What’s it like to go through life as a pedant completely devoid of empathy?
          Disenfranchised – any many others – thought they did the right thing. They trusted DC BoE to change their registration, as requested. DC BoE dropped the ball and many people did not get to vote. That’s f#cked up. Royally. We should not be making voting more difficult, as it is the must fundamental of our rights.

          • this board of full of such sort of replies, on all issues – I truly wonder who these people are.

          • +1,000 Voter laws across the country are complex and confusing, especially when they make “minor” changes like that one.

        • And you always have to vote at you old address when you move and haven’t updated your registration. I usually do when I move across town, and that reminds me I need to update my registration.
          Now, if you did go update your driver’s license and fill out the voter registration update, or otherwise change your registration, and it just didn’t get entered into the system, well, I feel for you for that, as that’s just system incompetence, and not really your fault at all, despite what Duponter said.

          • my partner and I moved to a new address (same ward, different ANC). we went to the DMV together several months ago to update our drivers’ licenses and registration. somehow mine correctly went through. his remained at his old address. I got to vote at our new polling place which is literally across the street from our new apartment. he had to go about a mile away. womp womp.

    • By comparison, Arlington (which also had a hot local election, but no national primary at all) yesterday had a voter turnout of only 11%. So we actually did well.

    • I tried to vote, but am registered Independent. So I was turned away.

  • Interesting that Clinton won every ward by a very strong (and roughly similar) percentage. Obviously it’s not surprising that an “establishment” candidate would do well in DC (or a Clinton given the diversity), but there’s also a lot of young people. Guess people are finally coming around…

    • I’m sure some people didn’t vote after she was announced presumptive nominee.

    • I’m not surprised. Many of the Bernie types don’t register to vote in DC. At my polling place, there were a few people who wanted to register that day. Maybe I’m just grumpy but a lot of the young people that come here don’t really commit to the city. Once there was no Presidential implications, they just wouldn’t care about the local races.

      • Amen on transplants not committing to the city.

      • NH Ave Hiker

        I’m a young transplant (only been here 1+ year) but I have a DC license, volunteer within the community frequently, and just voted yesterday. So not all of us are like that!

      • Both myself and my partner are in our mid twenties, and both voted yesterday – but I am glad you felt the need to make a sweeping generalization about how we “just wouldn’t care” and “don’t really commit to the city.” A quick google to find some actual facts… leads me to a WaPo article from last year, “Before 2014, seniors were the largest age group of voters because of their high turnout. That changed dramatically in November. While the number of older voters stayed about the same, twice as many young adults ages 25 to 34 voted as in 2010.” And looking at the visual, the 25-34 age group was actually the largest groups. Our turnout percentage was not as good since we were also the largest group, but I think saying we don’t care or commit is a misclassification.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Highlighting the existence of not just one but two exceptions (multiple exceptions! More than one!) is not exactly a strong form of evidence that the sweeping generalization in question is wildly off base.

        • I said “many” and not ALL. Google doesn’t equal research – All of those stats that you are referring to are the people that are registered to vote in DC and their turnout numbers. “Many” of the young voters I am talking about are not in those statistics because they don’t even bother to register in DC. If you want to impress me, look up census stats on those age groups and compare that to voter rolls. Then prove that younger people are as invested. Or maybe you could have a reality check and admit that many people move here to work on the hill for 2 years, go to graduate school or do a short stint and move on. It’s not a personal affront to you to acknowledge that reality exists in DC. We are all still very happy that you are here and participating.

        • Accountering

          Don’t take it personally… It’s true, a ton of people move here for several years, with the intention of moving elsewhere.

          • Also, a lot of people who move here from a swing state, like VA, will keep their VA voting registration because it has more impact in the national elections.

        • Slow your roll, people! A lot of people DOES NOT equal ALL people. I’m assuming your stats are DC specific, since otherwise they would be irrelevant, but the number of young people who have moved into DC has increased significantly over the past few years, so it wouldn’t be surprising that the number of young voters would go up while seniors would stay the same. And there will always be exceptions, but while things are changing there are still a lot of people in DC who only plan to be here a few years before they move on. I for one, just voted for the first time in DC this year despite having lived here for eight years, because I no longer have reciprocity with my home state, but I’ve always been informed and active on community issues, and I don’t disagree with the generalization made above.

      • Is it different with younger generations? Is it a DC thing, this lack of commitment, or an anywhere thing? I’ve moved around in my adult life, but have always registered and voted wherever I was living – in four states plus in the territory of DC – the first time to vote in a primary while in high school, and I knew I’d be moving away soon – I register, whether living somewhere for school or work, whether I think I’ll be staying long term or not, as I never really know – and the people I knew always did, too.

        • I’ve known a lot of people that don’t register in DC because of our lack of a vote in the federal government. It sucks but it makes sense.

          • It makes sense only if they have no interest in D.C. issues — crime, housing, etc., etc. For many D.C. issues, it matters who’s mayor and who’s on the Council.

          • @textdoc – And matters even more frankly precisely because we do not have a vote in the federal government.

          • Agreed … it does NOT make any sense.

          • I totally agree. I registered here as soon as I moved here but I can see the logic behind it and it’s another reason why lack of Statehood harms our democracy.

          • Good point there, Colhi, on harms to democracy.

          • When I first moved here, I was active duty military. Legally, I could maintain my residence in the state where I entered the military and then not have to pay state income tax. If I changed my residence to DC, I’d have to pay DC income tax.
            Selfish and greedy, maybe. But I wasn’t ready to give up a few thousand dollars per year straight out of college.

      • Maybe you should mind your own business?
        BTW, your vote counts for more if they don’t vote.

        • +1 I’m happy that the people who don’t plan on being here very long aren’t voting in the local elections. Residents who have a personal stake in the city’s future are the ones I want selecting our local government officials.

  • note that they say 21.19% of registered voters, not registered democrats. if dc had an open primary that allowed those that register as independents or republicans due to work obligations (not trivial in a political town) to participate they would have significantly higher turnout.

    • There’s same-day registration, so if there was a candidate they wanted to vote for, they could have.

      • Not true. Same day registration is only for registering, not for changing your party affiliation. If you wanted to change parties, that would have had to be done 15 (or 30?) days before the primary.

        • This is not true. For yesterday’s election you could change your party affiliation and vote special ballot.

          • HaileUnlikely

            This is correct. I actually did this. I changed my affiliation from Independent to Democrat for the sole purpose of casting a vote for Leon Andrews for City Council, and did so via a special ballot. It didn’t work, but anyway, yes, you can change party on election day and vote by special ballot.

          • Nope. From BOE:

            You may also update your registration in person at the Board’s Office. There is no deadline when you appear in-person at the Board’s office, except that if you would like to cast a regular ballot in an election, you must file your update before the early voting period begins for that election (approximately 15 days before an election).

            EXCEPTION: After the 30th day before a primary election, you may not change your party affiliation. Requests for change of party affiliation received during the thirty days before a primary election will be processed after the primary election.

          • Well if that’s the case, then the BOE needs to clarify on their website! Its written in that language twice.

          • BOE also says this: NOTE: If you are previously registered, you may not change your party affiliation either on Election Day or at an early voting center.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Most DC government websites, including but by no means limited to that of the Board of Elections, contain lots of unclear information and some information that seems to be in direct contradiction to other information that is right there on the same page.
            Anyway, in the below, they are (not particularly clearly) distinguishing between a regular ballot and a special ballot. You can change your party affiliation on election day and still vote, but the vote will then be by special ballot, not regular ballot.

          • BOE When SPecial Ballot is Provided:
            Voter claims different party affiliation status (PRIMARY ELECTION)
            – You claim a different political party in the primary other than the one shown on the list of registered voters at the polling place.
            – Your ballot will be counted if the Board has your party affiliation listed incorrectly due to a clerical error.

            That seems to mean only if you’re claiming an error. Did you claim an error or tell the poll worker that you wanted to change? Unless it means either you claim or there was an error.

          • HaileUnlikely

            No, I did not claim an error, I told them that I desired to change my party affiliation.
            It is possible that what you say is correct, and that because of related errors that I was not affected by and did not become aware of until later, others who were legitimately registered Dem were erroneously showing up as Independent, so they didn’t really listen to me (or care) and just applied the protocol for them to me, but no, I didn’t. It was my understanding, based on printed materials that I had received from DC BOE in the past (years ago, not this election cycle), that voters were explicitly permitted to change party and file a special ballot on Election Day, and that is what I set out to do, and they allowed me to do so.
            I also note that when I showed up to vote in the Gray vs. Fenty primary back in whatever year, and I did not yet know that DC had a closed primary, the poll workers informed me that I could not vote in that primary, but I could change my party affiliation and cast a special ballot. I declined to do so at the time, because I cared more back then, when I was younger and more idealistic, about remaining officially independent than I cared about voting (for Fenty).

          • I think the language is pretty clear that you can’t change your party affiliation less than 30 days before the primary. The fact that they let you vote special ballot doesn’t actually mean your vote will be counted, btw. If I have time later I will contact DCBOE to try and clarify this but I would be very surprised to hear that you can change your party affiliation this way on election day (side note – if I thought you could, I would have done it myself).

          • HaileUnlikely

            Upon reading the actual content of the current website, I halfway suspect that in the situation outlined above, they allow the person in question to vote by special ballot and then simply do not count the special ballot. However, nowhere on the special ballot is there any place for the poll worker nor the voter to indicate the reason why the party affiliation that they were claiming differed from the one that they had on record, and no mechanism exists by which the BOE can verify that the voter’s party affliation was as shown in their records due to clerical error, so basically, I do not know how such ballots are actually treated in practice.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Anonymous – At this point, I now agree with you. My vote probably will not be counted. Given that in a prior election a poll worker actually told me that it was allowed and encouraged me to do so, it didn’t occur to me to second guess it.
            I still maintain that the mechanism by which they can differentiate between party change to clerical error versus party change due to voluntary change of mind does not exist, so although I had no intention of “cheating” and believed in good faith that what I was doing was allowed, I do not think it is within their means to differentiate between the two in a legitimate way at this stage (even if they claim otherwise).

          • All of this is a part of the problem! Even voters who believe they’re informed may be mistaken, and poll workers make mistakes frequently — they’re given meager training. If poll workers were letting voters change their party affiliation on the spot, that conflicts with DC BOE, and it;s unfair to voters who either had no idea they could change, didn’t know it was a closed primary, or thought they had missed the deadline. Primaries should be open, and we should have universal voter registration.

          • I wish someone at the polling station would have mentioned that! I showed up and they said I couldn’t vote because I was registered Independent.

    • If you want Republican or Independent voters to matter in DC then build your party and find viable candidates. Because the Republican party can’t make itself relevant to the voters of the city, why should the Democratic primary have to open to them? The primary is a process to pick a standard bearer for the party in the general election. Back in the day, Carol Schwartz and other Republicans put up a real fight in the general election because they weren’t insane and were good local politicians.

      • If you are independent and form a party, you are no longer independent. How do you propose an independent goes about building a party?

        • west_egg

          I suppose that’s the trade off for being “independent”? If you’re proud of your lack of party affiliation, don’t whine when you can’t participate in the party’s internal procedures.

          • As most races are going to be determined in primaries rather than general elections, it would be better if we had a run-off system that allowed the non-Dems to have a stronger voice in picking the eventual winner.

    • It may be difficult to fathom, but some do register as independents or republicans because they truly identify with those parties.

      • Yes but the Democratic Primary in DC is pretty much the General Election. Repubs should register Dem and then find the most conservative Dem to vote for.

        • But don’t you feel that is generally a dishonest practice? I would feel dirty doing that IMO which is why I have never done that. I feel like it’s your political party’s day and really shouldn’t have people changing their allegiances to try to “throw off” a vote in primaries. I’m not saying by any means that’s what you’re saying or pushing to do, but that def is something to think about.

          • Not dishonest at all. The democratic party has moved so far rightward in my lifetime that I can’t say I really I really support it – but I will register so I can vote. That’s only practical. That describes a lot of voters in this country. No different for republican-leaning types who would like to have a say in elections here.

          • No, I want people engaged and want their vote to be counted.

            If I were in a Red state, I’d register Repub and vote for the most liberal Republicans. they have to exist, right?

        • This… To be perfectly honest, if you want a voice at all, register Dem. Like it or not, that’s the way it works in this city.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Agreed. I do not identify with the Democratic party at all, would strongly prefer not to “have to” be affiliated with a party, and had been registered as an Independent from age 18 (long time ago) through yesterday morning. I registered Dem yesterday for the sole purpose of being able to meaningfully vote for city council (and in the future, mayor). I’m not happy about it, and if we ever change to an open primary system, I will change my registration back to Independent, but for now, yeah, I agree with this.

          • You might change your affiliation back to Independent, but you’ll still be voting for Democrats because it is DC.

          • HaileUnlikely


      • saf

        That’s fine. Then let those folks work with those parties. They are not democrats, so why should they vote in the primary, which is an election to determine who will represent the democrats in the general election? They should not. They should determine who will represent their own party in the general election.

    • Right, but DC is like 90% Democrat, isn’t it? It’s still a pretty low turnout.

    • “those that register as independents or republicans due to work obligations (not trivial in a political town)” — Is your registration information publicly available?
      I did see a headline in the Post yesterday about a disturbing amount of information (including voting history? I hope they meant “history” as far as “voted”/”didn’t vote,” vs. ‘voted for A in 2014, voted for B in 2016″) being publicly available.

      • I read that article a couple hours ago and was wondering what’s disturbing about that information. I guess if your employer fires you because you didn’t vote or registered with the “wrong’ party that could be a problem, but I don’t think employers should be pressuring their workers to vote a certain way.

      • Yes, and if you google, you can find an article that links to the voter list, and look yourself (and others) up. Though I still could not figure out what all the various codes (other than N and Y) that indicated what I did in some of the past 6 elections they list mean.

        • Can anyone explain what the N, V, E, and Y mean? I’m not even sure N and Y mean No and Yes. I’ve got an ‘N’ and am not aware of missing any election.

          • Yes, that was an assumption on my part about N and Y being no and yes, and not necessarily correct. But these lists don’t look correct to me, either.
            I’ve got 2 Ns, 3 Vs and 1 E. And I know I’ve voted in most, if not all, of the past 6 elections. E can’t mean early, as I’ve never voted early.
            And what does A mean? There are A’s sprinkled in there, too. This list has no key!

          • According to the WaPo article: “In the board of elections’s coding scheme, “Y” means voted, “N” means did not vote, “A” means absentee, “E” means voted early and a blank space means the agency has no record of how a voter behaved in that year’s election.”

  • This illustrates why primaries are an idiotic way to run a democracy. Robert White won his seat with less than 40% of the primary vote, and less than 25% of the electorate voted in the primary. He’s going to win an at large seat on the basis of winning 8.3% of the electorate. And this is not a knock on White; I voted for the guy. Primaries are bad enough in places where there is interparty competition, but in a one-party town like DC, we need to come up with something better.

    • Agreed! Open primaries with runoff! It’s not bad enough that they win without a majority. What’s really bad is that only 20% of voters show up for the primary. Thee guys are congratulating themselves and sauntering into their seats with the approval of 10% of their voters?

      If that’s the best we can do, then maybe we deserve to be punished with Brandon Todd after all.

    • Like people caring enough to go out and vote when there are contested council seats? How is that going to happen here? Do you know people who didn’t’ vote? Start with asking them why they didn’t …
      Is the lack of civic engagement less than it was before I can remember, say before 1970? (I’m asking about the country in general – I realize DC does not have a long history of voting rights.)
      Yes, the media focuses far too much on presidential candidates – but how hard is it to remember that we have local government that makes decisions that matter (even if it can be congressional overridden?) I do think being a state with an entire state government could help with this … but I’m not sure people would still not be apathetic about voting.

    • A bigger problem in DC is there really aren’t greatly differing viewpoints or political parties. If you’re not a “D” then unfortunately you really don’t have many options and also means you really don’t have a say in the process since the election is over by the primaries which you don’t have any say in unless you’re a registered Democrat. When general elections come around, the races are already over after primary season. Even the Independents are originally D’s. Just a totally different process than anywhere I’ve been before and I’ve lived here for 10 years now.

      • Anywhere you lived before was a state encompassing a a larger geographic area with a wider range of demographics.

      • Oh please, I could say the same thing about Democrats and Republicans in the presidential races and races in other states I’ve lived in – the candidates of the two parties are far closer to each other in what they’d do (like wage pointless wars, be owned by rich corporate contributors) than to me, way, way off on the democratic socialist side, wishing for better and accessible education, housing, transportation, safety nets, and health care – as other countries seem to manage. But the practical side of me still goes out and votes, for the least worst candidate at least.

    • Why should democrats be forced to allow non-dems to help choose our candidate? Don’t we have the right to pick who we like, under the rules that we choose?

      • Yes, 100%. That is why we do it that way. Besides the fact, Hillary won by 77%. We could have let every independent in this city vote and the few Republicans and she still would have won DC.

        But in so far as a primary election goes, there’s no reason Democrats cannot keep their selection process closed. It’s a political party primary. Political parties are organizations that should be allowed to self determine what they are all about. And guess what, Independents, you do have a vote that counts. In November.

      • It’s not necessarily that Democrats should have to bend to the whims of others, but rather that our current voting system in this city is no bueno and needs to be overhauled. The status quo inevitably leads to results which are not representative of what the population really wants.

      • Yes, absolutely Democrats should be able to pick whom they like, under whatever rules. Which is exactly why we should abolish the primary. If the Democratic party wants to hold an election, or run a caucus, or just pick names out of a hat, then they should be able to do that… and they should foot the bill. Whoever they decide to nominate should not get special ballot access.

        We should have a single election with Instant Runoff Voting, or some similar procedure which allows you to rank your choices so that two candidates who appeal to the same constituency do not “split the vote”.

  • So bummed that Brandon Todd won. Hopefully, Andrews strong showing is a wake up call for Todd.

    • I too am disappointed that Brandon Todd won. Like his predecessor, he personifies the Peter Principle.

      • Anonjmous

        Thirded. The green team has been a huge disappointment for Ward 4. I hope Bowser takes it as a wakeup call.

        • How is finishing barely under 50% in a four way primary a weak showing? Andrews spent over $125,000 on this race. Plus Todd didn’t have the luxury of serving a full term. He didn’t have the luxury of being the challenger and making unrealistic promises nor the power of the incumbency by having much time to establish himself. He hit the ground running by focusing on constituent services which is why he won, but he deserves a full term.

          • Anonjmous

            I didn’t say anything about whether it was a weak showing in the election. I’m saying that Brandon Todd has not been able to produce results for Ward 4.
            He had the (purported) advantage of being buddies with the Mayor, yet he still couldn’t pull things together for Ward 4.
            Just look at how badly our school modernizations fared in the budget process. Between the Mayor and the Council, we keep getting the short end.

          • Anonjmous

            Also, his constituent services suck. They are very good at listening, and telling you that they’re listening. Then they drop the ball. Consistently.

          • I think people overrate his relationship with the mayor. Are they allies? Yes. But many of the things that Todd needs to deliver on require the vote of the rest of the council — especially funding. Mendolsen screwed Bowser and Todd over on the funding yet you blame them? Give me a break. In my experience, people expect their constituent services requests to be done over night or with the snap of a finger. In some cases, it’s an easy fix. In other cases, they have to battle agency bueracracy and middle managers just like the rest of us. I’d expect Todd’s power and influence to grow once he is assigned a committee with committee staff. Give the guy a chance. Geez.

          • In addition, if you recall, ward 4 didn’t even have a council member for quite awhile after Bowser was inaugurated. Right or wrong that’s the reality. So when Todd finally won the special election, he walked into an office with nearly 3,000 existing constituent services requests. I remember asking him about a month in to his term, “how many people has he heard from?” He said they had over 7,000 requests for constituent service matters plus he was still staffing up as most people (incl the Director of Constituent Services) left to go work for Bowser.

          • Anonjmous

            Great excuses, really. I hope he does do better over the next four years. That would benefit us greatly. But I’m not holding my breath.

      • saf

        Oh no. His first job with Muriel was evidence of the Peter Principle. Now it’s just gotten silly.

    • I figured Todd was going to win, but not with less than 50% of the vote. Andrews ran a great campaign (especially for a first-timer) and hopefully this isn’t the last we’ll hear from him.

      • It was a four way race with one well-funded challenger to Todd. Todd won via special election and hadn’t even served a full term. I agree he was the favorite, but he did exactly as well as I expected him to do.

    • Am I the only one who noticed that the Ward 4 candidates were the only place on the ballot where they were listed out of alphabetical order? Every other race was alphabetical, and then Andrews was listed last (where he should have been first) on that race. Even the rest of that race was alphabetical. Not sure it would have led to the 4 point swing he needed, but he definitely would have gotten a bump if he’d been listed first like he should have been.

      ::mutters incomprehensibly about black helicpters::

      • Welcome to DC. The ballot order is set by lottery, not alphabetically, in order to avoid the bump that comes with being listed first.

    • Also disappointed to see Todf win. I’ve been unimpressed with his leadership in our Ward, and it is time for a change!

  • So many council members names end in colors, very odd, even the ones that lost over the years. Just an observation.

    • A lot of African American last names are colors, aren’t they? Maybe that’s why?

      • I…guess so? I don’t know, is that a “thing”? I never really made that connection, but I guess in this case specifically it’s happens to be accurate.

      • “African-American last names” are typically the names of the white slaveowners of their great-grandparents and back. If you can pronounce it, their family was impacted by the slave trade.

  • What is an “under vote”?

    • I was wondering the same thing. It turns out to mean that the voter left the ballot blank for that particular race.

    • That’s when someone has cast a ballot, but hasn’t voted for anyone in that category.

      • I do this a lot in the primary, because I only vote for DC-specific candidates since the primary is essentially DC’s general election. So I leave all of the national races blank on my ballot.

    • I believe “under vote” is when someone does not make a selection and “over vote” is when someone chooses more than one candidate (or the more than the allowable number of choices, which is sometime more than 1).

  • Many DC residents and others don’t vote because they feel their vote will not matter. I was hoping the wessel Brandon Todd would lose his seat. I am glad Vince Gray won his Council against Miss Piggy. As a Democrat, I voted and wrote in Donald Trump. I can’t stand Hillary Clinton. The Democratic party have pimped black voters for the last 50 years. Illegal immigration have had a major impact on black low and middle traditional black neighborhoods.

    • Agree on pimping the black vote.
      But on immigration – you could say the same for all of our country’s history – free blacks had to compete with immigrants (legal or not – did we even have immigration laws in the early days, or were our borders just open?) for jobs, and since the end of slavery and the enactment of immigration laws, African-Americans still had to compete with the immigrants for jobs.
      I’m not sure that keeping immigrants out, or voting for people who want to remove people long settled here, is the best way to combat discrimination in hiring against African-Americans. Spending for eduction and job training would probably be a more effective use of funds.

      • There’s a difference between illegal aliens and legal immigrants. I am talking about illegal aliens mostly from Central &South America and Mexico have overwhelmed black lower and middle class neighborhoods. During Jim Crow in the U.S., those countries would not have been welcoming to black U.S. citizens trying to escape racism and Jim Crow laws.

        • I don’t see a huge difference between illegal and legal immigrants.
          And I’m not sure what neighborhoods demographic change has to do with it – I see black neighborhoods being changed by the white ‘gentrifiers’ too.
          Isn’t it jobs we are really talking about? I know there’s often a push to create jobs in poor neighborhoods, but really, isn’t the issue jobs (that are commutable to) in general? I’ve never once had a job in my neighborhood, except when in college.

          • I don’t see a huge difference between illegal and legal immigrants.
            Other than the fact one group knowingly violates a nation’s laws in place meant to protect a country’s citizens and best interests. Not to mention all of the security issues associated with having no idea who’s coming into your country. The other group followed the law and are rightfully welcomed into the country.

    • As opposed to the Republican party that doesn’t bother to try to get the African American vote at all? Give me a break. Donald Trump is a racist pig so your logic escapes me.

      • Even if they “tried” as you say, would it matter? Would the message even resonate, would it change the mindset of those African Americans who have always voted “D” no matter what, even if they believed in the Republican party’s message, because let’s face it, it will be new after this year, it has to change in some way with Trump beating the status quo candidates and the party has to re-brand itself in some way.

        • You do realize that there’s a sizable proportion of the AA population living today that has not “always voted D no matter what.” Please study AA voting patterns with more care and nuance.

          • “Since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Republicans have not received 20% of AA vote in a Presidential election, whereas Democrats have received about 75% or more since then. At no point from 1936 on, according to Joint Center data, has the Republican candidate for president gotten more than 40 percent of the black vote”. That to me is a pretty significant period of time…I don’t think you can say “a sizable portion has not always voted that way” because that is just not true. If you’re not close to hitting 20% in over 50 yrs and have not even reached 40% in 80 yrs, safe to say it’s not a new trend and more of the status quo. Point being it would take a lot to change the minds of views held for so long, which brings me back to my original questions above. There’s a good article about it online from WaPo from last July 2015 if you care to look it up by Philip Bump, I found it interesting at least.

          • I suspect On Capital Heels was disputing the “no matter what” (or “just because”) part, not so much the voting-history part.

        • It’s kind of hard for most African-Americans to believe in the Republican party’s message when that message has become an increasingly racist one in the past several decades.
          Donald Trump is saying out loud what many Republicans have been thinking but had the pragmatism/good sense not to say.
          Republican strategist Lee Atwater, describing the party’s “Southern Strategy” in 1981: ‘You start out in 1954 by saying, “N—-, n—-, n—-.” By 1968 you can’t say “n—–“—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N—-, n—-.” ‘

      • And Hillary Clinton and Bill aren’t racist? AS a black man, I agree with Donald Trump on a lot of things he says regarding El Salvador, Mexico, and other countries are sending their poorest uneducated citizens to the U.S. El Sslvador is the most violent country in the world consisting with MS 13 gang members coming to the U. S. Political correctness is out of control. I don’t always agree with Trump because he say some idiotic things out of his mouth. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders support open borders. The U.S. need to enforce their immigration laws like Mexico and El Salvador.

        • You do know that the majority of immigrants in DC from El Salvador are here legally right? The came over during/after the civil war in the 80s and were granted citizenship/amnesty by Reagan….a Republican.

          • thank you for pointing that out … there’s a lot of racism in deciding you can tell who is here legally, and who is here illegally.

        • I see. “He may be racist, but (at the moment), he’s racist against OTHER people, so he’s OK by me. Trump 2016!”

    • Latinos are not your enemy.

  • Huge loss for Sam Jewler and the Jews for Justice group that single handedly tried to oust Brandon Todd. They put everything they had into Leon Andrews. Guess those activists didn’t live in Ward 4 after all!

    • I think Brandon Todd did a pretty good job of almost ousting himself out of office. His deer in the headlights incompetence put up a good fight.

  • The overwhelming issue that heard people complain about at my precinct yesterday was crime. Of course, that’s also what I hear most residents complain about day to day. Rising crime is going to cost Bowser her re-election. The city is changing. Crime isn’t as acceptable as it once was…

  • justinbc

    Is there a way to view what the write-in nominations were?

    • jim_ed

      Considering how many times I’ve written in “KODOS” as a protest vote in town, I sure as hell hope not.

  • How are voter rolls maintained? I no longer live in DC, but I never “un”registered. Given that DC is a transient city, this might partially explain the low turnout. But I’m more just genuinely curious.

    • Good point. I probably am still registered in DC even though I moved away last year (and registered in my current state).

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