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District Briefing

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

D.C. COUNCIL

Cheh to Seek Court Order in Elections Probe

D.C. Council member Mary M. Cheh, raising questions about the performance of Sequoia Voting Systems in September's primary election, wants a judge to order the company to adhere to the council's subpoena power.

As chairman of an investigative committee, Cheh (D-Ward 3) served the California-based company with a subpoena to get information about how thousands of phantom votes appeared in initial vote tallies. The company runs the city's elections systems.

Sequoia and an internal panel at the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics found that human error and glitches contributed to the problems but neither body pinpointed the causes.

Cheh said the firm was served a subpoena Sept. 18 calling for it to provide information about the machines' source code, the language that enables them to operate. She said she plans to file a motion today in D.C. Superior Court, aided by pro bono counsel Jenner & Block. A spokeswoman for Sequoia Voting Systems was unavailable for comment yesterday.

-- Nikita Stewart

CAPITOL POLICE

Officials Investigate Officers' Facebook Activities

Officials with the U.S. Capitol Police are investigating an anonymous complaint saying that several of their officers belong to "questionable" groups on Facebook, a department spokeswoman said.

No disciplinary action has been taken, and the department's Office of Professional Responsibility has just begun the inquiry into the online habits of fewer than 10 officers, said the spokeswoman, Sgt. Kimberly Schneider.

The Washington Times reported yesterday that some Capitol Police officers were members of a Facebook group that chats about, among other things, showering dancers at strip clubs with dollar bills.


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