Monday, July 27, 2009

BOEE Maintains Jackson's Voter Registration

On Friday, I received a letter from the DC Board of Elections and Ethics addressed to Reverend Harry R. Jackson on which I was cc'd. The language of the letter is puzzling.

First, the letter was mailed to The Whitman even though Rev. Jackson claims he no longer lives there, but now resides at some other address within the District of Columbia.

Second, the letter states that Rev. Jackson provided "documents of your intent to become a qualified elector..." Was he not a qualified registered elector when he submitted the referendum on same sex marriage?

Finally, although the Board provided Rev. Jackson a copy of all documentation which we submitted to challenge his voter registration, the Board's decision was not accompanied by any of the materials Rev. Jackson submitted to maintain his registration. There is no indication in the letter of how Rev. Jackson explained away the facts that he owns homes in Maryland, works in Maryland, and only registered to vote in DC just outside of the 30 days necessary to propose a referendum. I am considering whether to exercise my right to appeal, but how do I make such a determination without the basis for the Board's decision?

The Board was helpful enough to send Reverend Jackson a new voter registration form to change his address.

Here is the full text of the letter:
July 22, 2009

Harry R. Jackson, Jr.
910 M. Street NW #630
Washington, D.C. 20001

Dear Mr. Jackson:

This is written notification of the decision to keep your name on the list of active voters in the District of Columbia.

This decision is based on the fact that you timely filed with the Board an affidavit and documents of your intent to become a qualified elector in the District of Columbia. Therefore it was determined that you have met the qualifications to be a qualified voter in the Distict of Columbia.

Pursuant to D.C. Official Code 1-1001.07(e)(5)(C), any aggrieved party may appeal my decision, in writing, to the Board of Elections and Ethics within fourteen (14) days of mailing of this notice. The deadline for filing an appeal to my determination is August 5, 2009.

Additionally, in the documents you provided it indicates you have changed your address. Enclosed you will find a Mail-In Registration Form for you to complete and mail to the Board's office at 441 4th Street, NW, Suite 250N, Washington, DC 20001.

If you have any questions, I can be reached at (202) 727-1085 or by e-mail at

Karen Brooks
Registrar of Voters

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not Quite Done

I have not posted on TheOther35Percent in a while, but you can continue to read my posts on issues of local concern on Life in Mount Vernon Square. Some of the recent ones include:
  • Signs of Progress: DCRA begins enforcing its billboard moratorium in response to our efforts. The Examiner covered the issue here.
  • Will it Ever be Home Again: A discussion of the District's failed program to redevelop vacant properties into affordable housing. One of the many Home Again properties is discussed here.
  • The Good News in Mount Vernon: Detailing progress and recent positive happenings in the neighborhood including new restaurants coming this fall.
  • What Goes for Progress in Shaw: Will the District turn a vacant lot slotted for recreational and residential use into a massive parking lot? Why? The post is part of a larger discussion on the Bundy School property on the 400 Block of O Street NW. The Washington Post had a brief article on the community's engagement on this issue.

You can also read about our challenge (available here) to the validity of Bishop Harry Jackson's voter registration and his referendum to revoke the District's gay marriage recognition law (Rev. Jackson is the Pastor of a Maryland-based church, who lives and works in Maryland, but recently registered to vote using a D.C. address in order to serve as the principal proponent of the referendum):

The DC Board of Elections has provided Reverend Jackson until the end of July to respond (letter here).