For weeks prior to the DC primary election in June, trips to area farmers markets meant being greeted by clipboard-bearing candidates for DC office, or campaign volunteers. They were seeking your signature for their petitions to appear on the ballot, and seeking your vote.
And now, weeks before the DC general election in November, a different crop of clipboard-bearing candidates and volunteers are out there asking for your signature and your vote. And those are mainly independent candidates for two at-large seats on the DC Council, and nonpartisan candidates for advisory neighborhood commissions and the State Board of Education. (We won’t dwell here on the races for mayor, Ward 3 Council or attorney general. Because 76.7% of DC voters are registered as Democrats, the winners of the Democratic primaries are the likely winners on November 8th.)
DC Council At-Large
The most important thing to remember is that when you get your ballot, you will be presented a list of candidates – a Democrat, a Republican, a DC Statehood Green, and a host of independents – and you will select two of them.
The candidates with a party next to their names got their spots on the November 8th ballot by winning their primaries. Independent candidates have until August 10th to collect 3,000 signatures on their nominating petitions. The DC Line columnist jonetta rose barras wrote recently about the three current Council members vying for the two spots (Anita Bonds (D), Elissa Silverman (I), Kenyan McDuffie (I)). As of July 27th, the DC Board of Elections reported that six other independent candidates had picked up petitions. The BOE posts updated lists almost every weekday.
Advisory Neighborhood Commissions
The candidates for these unpaid, nonpartisan elected positions are less likely to be at your local farmers market because their constituents all live within a few city blocks of their homes. These areas are called single member districts, and each SMD has a representative on the neighborhood ANC.
These candidates need at least 25 of their neighbors to sign their nominating petitions. If a candidate for ANC asks you to sign their nominating petition, it’s a good idea to check that you live in their SMD, especially now that the boundaries are changing due to redistricting. An easy way to do so is to visit OpenANC.org.
We wrote here about the six seats up for grabs in ANC 3F. And as of July 27th, seven candidates had picked up nominating petitions: Ryan Cudemas-Brunoli for 3F01, Kathy Hudson for 3F02, Mitchell Baer for 3F03, Claudette David (incumbent) for 3F04, Andrew Koval and James Tandaric (incumbent) for 3F05, and Rona Walters for 3F06.
Also, it is not too late to jump into the race. You would just need to get your petition from the DC Board of Elections, collect at least 25 signatures from your neighbors, and turn in your nominating petitions by August 10th. The Board of Elections website has more information about ANC ballot access. Plus, Greater Greater Washington executive director and outgoing 1D05 commissioner Chelsea Allinger led a recent virtual training session on how to run and what’s involved in the role. You can watch the replay here.
DC State Board of Education
This is another nonpartisan elected office, this time for a four-year term. And in Ward 3, this election is wide open. After serving two terms, Ruth Wattenberg has announced that she is not running again. Candidates will need to collect 200 signatures by August 10th to qualify for the ballot. So far, Michael Sriqui has taken out a petition.
Some final thoughts
You can stay on top of who has taken out and turned in their nominating petitions by checking the DC Board of Elections site for the 2022 election. And remember that when you sign a candidate’s petition, all you are doing is helping them get on the ballot. In November, you get to decide who gets your vote.