A D.C. Superior Court judge yesterday allowed the city's elections board to print ballots for the Nov. 6 elections but did not rule on the question of whether voters should be permitted to use gummed labels to cast votes for write-in candidates.
Judge James A. Washington ruled that voters who filed suit against the board seeking to use the labels had presented "no evidence" that a different ballot form was necessary and he lifted an earlier order prohibiting the board from printing the ballots.
Attorney Gerald M. Green, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the voters, immediately appealed Washington's ruling to the D.C. Court of Appeals. The appeal was denied late yesterday.
Washington scheduled further hearings in the case for today.
Green and a committee to draft City Council member Jerry A. Moore Jr. for a write-in candidacy are seeking to prevent the board from enforcing a three-year-old rule prohibiting the use of gummed labels on election ballots.
Connie Mack Higgins, chairman of the committee to draft Moore, told Washington earlier that the committee would attempt to distribute 200,000 labels if they are allowed and that as many as 70,000 might be placed on ballots.
Elections officials maintain that the labels literally would gum up election vote tallying machinery, causing delays and an inaccurate count.
On Tuesday, the board proposed new emergency rules that would permit widescale use of rubber stamps for write-in candidacies. The board also would provide the stamps to voters who certify that they are handicapped and unable to write in their choices by hand.
Green, saying the rubber stamps would be too expensive for campaign organizations, suggested that the elections board could develop a new ballot form especially for candidates waging write-in campaigns with labels.
Emmett Fremaux, executive director of the elections board, yesterday dismissed the suggestion in court, saying it would confuse voters and significantly delay the vote count.
"We've had our phones ringing off the hook from people wanting to know if they can conduct a sticker campaign," Fremaux said.