The chairman of the D.C. elections board proposed yesterday that the city scrap its voter registration list because it is full of inaccuracies and start with a new list that contains the names of people who voted in either the September primary or November general election.
The current list contains 370,000 names, but elections officials believe that as many as 125,000 of them are the names of people who have died, moved from the District, or are named more than once.
In a letter to the City Council's government operations committee, elections board chairman Albert J. Beveridge III said the inaccuracies are so extensive that it would be far more feasible to start with a new list than try to correct the existing one.
Using the last two elections as a basis for a new list, Beveridge said in the letter, would give the city a list of about 125,000 valid voter names.
Beveridge also said that the board would give properly registered voters who did not participate in the 1982 elections the time to contact the board so that they would not have to reregister to have their names on the new list.
The elections board has recommended total reregistration in the past, but the government operations committee, headed by council member William R. Spaulding, has said that is not necessary. Beveridge's new reregistration proposal is seen as a compromise.
Spaulding said yesterday that the new plan "has some merit." He said he has directed his staff to analyze Beveridge's latest proposals, but that the earliest that any of them would be considered in committee is next January. The approval of Spaulding's committee, as well as the full City Council, the mayor and Congress is needed before Beveridge's proposals can be enacted.
Beveridge also recommended that the city consolidate school board elections with City Council elections. Currently school board elections are held in odd-numbered years and council elections in even-numbered years. He said the city would save $250,000 by having a joint election rather than two separate ones.
In addition, Beveridge requested that the city postpone until 1984 the Advisory Neighborhood Commission elections scheduled for next November so that the elections board can have additional time to inform voters of the new ANC boundaries, which have yet to be determined.
Beveridge said he believes that his proposals will carry more weight this time because the problems with the city's voter rolls have been highly publicized in recent months. In addition, he said, "The council will be able to consider this proposal for reregistration without the pressure of a partisan election upon them."
Other groups, including the League of Women Voters, D.C. Common Cause, the D.C. Democratic State Committee and Council Chairman-elect David Clarke are all working on proposals for election reform. They are studying some of the same areas in which Beveridge has recommended change.