ACLU Opposes Filing Fees, Other Provisions

In our July 13th testimony, the ACLUL of the Nation's Capital offered strong support for Councilmember Mary Cheh’s Bill 18-345, the “Omnibus Election Reform Act of 2009.” Among its significant innovations are: same day (or election day) registration, no excuse required absentee voting, registration of 17 year-olds who will be 18 on election day, a requirement that District voting systems create a voter-verifiable record of all votes cast in order that an audit trail is available in the event of a recount, and a requirement for post-election audits.

We opposed the bill’s requirement for filing fees, which will not significantly fund elections, but which could dissuade persons with reduced means not to run for office. At the hearing Councilmember Cheh announced that the committee had decided to drop that provision. We also urged that the unconstitutional limits on who may circulate election petitions be removed from the Code.