The campaign for Mayor Adrian M. Fenty is trying to get the Board of Elections and Ethics to reverse a recent decision and allow "no party" voters to cast ballots in the Democratic primary.
According to an Aug. 20 letter to the board from Marc Elias, an attorney for the campaign, the Fenty camp met in July with the board's general counsel, Kenneth McGhie, who gave the nod to allow such voters to participate in the Sept. 14 primary.
The decision was crucial to the Fenty campaign, which is hoping to expand the electorate in the Democratic primary against main opponent Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray.
But the board adopted emergency rules Aug. 12 that prohibit unaffiliated voters from participating in the primary.
Elias wrote in the letter that the emergency rules are not consistent with past elections and that voters who may have wanted to become Democrats to participate were disenfranchised. New election laws, which include same-day voter registration and early voting, require voters to pick a party within 30 days of an election. That means voters had until Aug. 16 to affiliate with a party to vote.
Elias wrote in the letter that the emergency rules made Aug. 12 did not give enough time and notice to voters to become Democrats by Aug. 16. He requested that an emergency hearing be held to consider the request of the Fenty campaign before early voting begins Aug. 30.