By all accounts, the election last week in the District of Columbia went without any big glitches. But a total of 1,144 voters -- fewer than 0.5 percent of the total of about 219,000 -- had part or all of their ballots challenged at the polls. They'll have a chance to contest the noncounting of their ballots tomorrow.
A legal advertisement that took all or part of 12 columns in this newspaper's classified advertising section listed all 1,144 names yesterday and misinformed those named that they may contest the ballot rejections before the Board of Elections and Ethics between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on "Friday, Nov. 6." Friday is tomorrow, but Nov. 6 was Election Day, a week ago Tuesday.
Emmett H. Fremaux Jr., executive director of the elections board, said he wasn't worried about the obvious typographical error in the ad, or who might have been responsible; voters who phone in response to the ad are being told of the correct hearing date.
In all, Fremaux said, 210 listed putative voters who went to the wrong precincts, 31 failed to sign special-ballot envelopes, 799 had failed to register to vote and another 144 had registered but only after the deadline.
There were two other special categories, Fremaux said: 42 who voted in the wrong single-member districts for members of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, and 220 who did not give polling officials enough information to qualify their ANC ballots. The presidential, City Council and other votes cast by these 262 voters were counted and are not in dispute.
According to the legal ad in the paper, one would-be voter who was turned away by a District polling official listed a far-out address: on Silverstrand, in Hermosa Beach, Calif.