W. Ronald Evans, the Republican candidate for City Council in Ward 5, yesterday asked the D.C. Court of Appeals to overturn an emergency ruling by the city elections board that would allow persons without proof of voter registration to cast regular ballots Nov. 2.
The three-judge panel did not indicate when it would rule.
The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics adopted an emergency rule on Oct. 25 allowing such persons to cast regular ballots if they show some form of identification and sign an affidavit that they are registered.
Melvin Burton Jr., the lawyer for Evans, told the three-judge panel that the procedure could allow persons who had moved away from Evans' ward to return and cast bogus votes that automatically would be counted and would dilute the ballots of legitimate Ward 5 voters.
He argued that such voters, whose names do not appear on precinct lists or who do not have voter registration cards, should be made to cast special, challenged ballots that could be reviewed before being counted.
"Voter fraud is rampant, not only in the District of Columbia, but throughout the country," Burton said.
William Lewis, general counsel to the board, said that he does not anticipate many fraudulent votes, because voters signing false affidavits would face criminal charges. He said the proper method for Evans to challenge irregularities is through an appeal after the election.