Trying to decide who won all Advisory Neighborhood Commission seats, the District of Columbia Board to Elections has made a decision that threatens to leave some seats vacant for the full two-year term of office.
The elections board decided to certify at least 24 "winners" of ANC seats even though the 24 are not legally qualified to occupy those seats. The 24 were judged unqualified because they do not reside in the districts from which they were elected, or because they hold other elected posts in the city.
Two months after the Nov. 8 election, the board's decision still leaves a gap in the list of certified ANC winners. Another gap exists because the board has not determined the winners of 16 seats in which there were winning tie votes between an eligible candidate and an ineligible one. ANC members are scheduled to be sworn into office next Tuesday.
The problem of the legally unqualified ANC winners arose because of write-in votes. There were no problems where the names of the candidates were printed on the ballots, since those people had to prove their qualifications in order to be listed.
In the case of write-ins, however, no such screening was possible. Hence John Doe, the mythical party to many a lawsuit, got at least one vote. Doe, however, did not win, so the election board did not need to decide whether to certify him.
However, Minnie S. Woodson did turn out be the write-in "winner for at least two ANC seats.
Woodson is legally disqualified on two points, according to elections board officials. She doest not live in the ANC districts from which she was apparently elected, and - as a member of the D.C. Board of Education - she cannot hold another elected position.
The election board's action leaves it up to the executive branch of the city government - perhaps the corporation counsel's office - to decide whether to block any of the unqualified persons from taking their oaths.
If any seats remain vacant after all certified winners are sworn in, existing city law provides no way they can be filled until after the next citywide ANC election in 1979. Vacancies can be filled only if an elected member leaves office during his or her term.
There are 36 ANC's throughout the city, with a total of 367 seats. Created in 1975 under the city's home rule charter, the ANCs are charged with reviewing projects and proposals by the city government affecting the geographic areas they serve. ANC memebers are unpaid.
The elections board based its decision to certify unqualified election winners on the recent D.C. Superior Court case in which Sterling Tucker was permitted to remain as chairman of the City Council.
The court refused to remove Tucker despite its finding that a paid outside job as a college lecturer had legally disqualified him from assuming the Council chairmanship. Tucker since has given up the collegiate job.
"What that (court decision) says to me is that an ineligible person can hold office," Jeanus B. Parks Jr., a member of the elections board, said at the board meeting where the decision to certify unqualified persons was reached.
For the elections board, that decision made it unnecessary to decide, in cases where the top vote-getter for an ANC seat is not qualified to serve, whether the second highest vote-getter should be certified instead.
Winfred R. Mundle, the board's general counsel, said he could find no legal basis for giving any elected position to a second-highest vote-getter.
The elections board told Mundle to prepare a legal statement explaining why it was certifying unqualified individuals.
John R. Risher Jr., the city's corporation counsel and top legal officer, said he would have an assistant look into the elections board's action, and would have no comment in the meantime.
It was Risher who brought the case in Superior Court that sought to remove Tucker from office.
Following are the names of the 24 ineligible "winners," as compiled unofficially. Staff members stressed that there is no indication of any wrongdoing by any person on the list, since many names were written in without the knowledge of the individuals listed.
As listed here, the first number if that of the ward; the letter is the designation of the commission, and the second letter is that of the district represented. Hence the listing ICI means Ward 1, Commission C, District 1.
1A1, Sam Carson; 1B10, Gilbur DIggs; 1B16, Anthony Hillary; 2C7, Eric Williams; 2C1, Timothy Siegel; 2C4, Alaire Riefell; 4A5, Betsy Tibbs; 4B8, Frederick D. Grant; 4A9, Mary Wilson, 4D13, Joan Thomas.
Also, 5A13, Mozelle E. Walkins; 5B9, George Boyde; 5B11, Norman Caesar, 5B12, Charles Harris; 6C2, Varnetta Graydon; 7C6, M. Gaffen; 7C8, Minnie S. Woodson; 7E4, Frank Perry; 7E5, Minnie Woodson; 7E8, Calvin Lindo; 7E9, Vivian Montague; 8D9, Ronald Parrish; 8C7, Marlin J. Bell, and 8C8, Genevieve B. Artis.
Following are the names of qualified winners certified by the elections board as of last Friday.
Many known winners of ANC seats are not included on this list, since the policy of the elections board is to certify all the winners of each ANC at one time. Uncertainly about one or more members of an ANC therefore has delayed the certification of all members of that ANC. Ward One
1C1, Eudora W. Webster; 1C2, Kindy French; 1C3, Robert E. Love; 1C4, Ann H. Hargrove; 1C5, Eddie Montgomery; 1C6, Frank Smith Jr.; 1C7, Sherry L. Brown; 1C9, Edward G. Jackson Sr.; 1C10, John Jones; 1C11, Belinda J. Sheppard ; and 1C12, Beulah L. Bullard.
1D1, Margaret M. Johnston; and 1D2, Elaine M. Dym.
1E1, Helen R. Keys; 1E2, Delphine D. Glaze; 1E3, Stanley K. Williams; 1E4, David L. Danner; and 1E5, Albert S. Munday. Ward Two
2A1, Ann Hume Loikow; 2A2, Diane H. Schilke; 2A3, Marthlu Bledsoe; 2A4, Harold H. Davitt; 2A5, Stephen A. Levy; 2A6, James Slicer, and 2A7, Kevin R. Callwood.
2B1, Madeline S. DeLisle; 2B2, William G. Middleton Jr.; 2B3, James H. Oliver; 2B4, Marshall Ferrin; 2B5, Susan Meehan; 2B6, Ralph B. Bristol Jr.; 2B7, Kenneth Rothschild; 2B8, George Y. Wheeler; and 2B9, Sophia Menatos. Ward Three
3A1, John F. Lauro; 3A2, Grace S. Lockwood; 3A3, Caren A. Pauley; 3A4, Sara C. Blunt; 3A5, William J. Hoff; and 3A6, Donald H. Shannon.
3E1, John H. Mower; 3E2, Carol C. Gidley; 3E3, Lorraine K. Middleton, 3E4, Virginia S. Spevak; and 3E5, Barbara H. Blok.
3F1, Joseph M. Coyle; 3F2, Stephen P. Belcher Jr.; 3F3, Jacob D. Kolker; 3F4, Janice B. Carmicael; 3F5, Cielle F. Block; 3F6, Martha A. Axford; 3F7, William M. Bartlett; and 3F8, Ruth P. Dixon.
3G1, Eliza E. Callas; 3G2, Leslie A. Palmer; 3G3, Gail R. Carlson; 3G4, James J. Butera; 3G5, L. Bernice Degler; 3G6, Bruce I. Waxman; 3G7, Clinton B.D. Brown; and 3G8, Karl F. Mautner. Ward Seven
7A1, Kimi O. Gray; 72A, Rhedine G. Davies; 7A3, Georgory Sh
7B1, Barbara O- Hogan; 7B2, Maryland D. Kemp; 7B3, William Blount; 7B4, Wilmur A. Davis; 7B6, James H. Hannaham; 7B7, William J. Hickey; 7B8, joel E. McLeod Sr.; and 7B9, Dennis R. Copeland
8A1, Jean Stryjewski; 8A2, Glenda Richmond; 8A3, Michael Wheeler; 8A4, William C. Larkins; 8A5, Almore M. Date; 8A46, Barbar J. Valentine; 8A8, Linda H. Moody; and 8A9, James K. Actis Sr.