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D.C. Bill to Hold Attorney General Election in November 2014

On December 3, 2013, Washington, D.C. city councilmember Mary Cheh introduced B20-0602. It would provide for an election for Attorney General for the District of Columbia, to be held November 4, 2014. It would provide that any individual could petition for a place on the general election ballot. The party affiliation of each candidate would be listed on the ballot. Whoever got the most votes would win.

In 2010, the voters passed a Charter Amendment. The language on the 2010 ballot said that starting in 2014, D.C. voters would elect an Attorney General for the District. The entire charter amendment was too long to print on the 2010 ballot, and the full amendment itself does not say that the first election for this office would be 2014, but since the ballot did mention that the election would be in 2014, there has been a controversy about whether the election should be held in 2014.

At first the city government took the position that the first election would be in 2018. Paul Zukerberg, an attorney who wants to run for that office in 2014, then sued to force the first election for this office to be held in 2014. The Cheh bill, if passed, would provide for a 2014 election. But the Cheh bill is also controversial because the charter amendment says the election should be partisan, and because the legal definition of “partisan election” has always been murky, it is not clear that an election with no party nominees, but with party labels on the ballot, is a “partisan election.”

So far, no hearing has been held on the Cheh bill. There is time urgency, because the D.C. primary is on April 1, 2014. The lawsuit filed by Zukerberg in the D.C. superior court may have a hearing soon, but so far no court date has been set. In the meantime, the D.C. Board of Elections permitted Zukerberg to file for the Democratic primary, and listed him on its list of candidates. He is the only Democrat who filed for the Democratic primary for that office. No one filed in the Republican, Statehood Green, or Libertarian primaries for that office. If a court rules in favor of Zukerberg, and says that a 2014 election must be held in which parties nominate candidates, presumably other candidates for Attorney General could run write-in campaigns in the primaries for that office.

2 Responses

  1. Demo Rep

    One more arbitrary ad hoc UNSTABLE banana republic regime in Devil City or what ???

  2. Demo Rep

    Also — again

    ALL ballot question stuff is biased.

    There should ONLY be –
    Do you approve of proposal XYZ [i.e. the full legal text] ???

    — as in legislative bodies voting on bills/resolutions.

    i.e. dummy voters should always vote NO on stuff that they do NOT understand to be in plain English.

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