Mid-morning on Election Day, The Post's Web site posted an article "Voter Turnout Low in D.C. Primaries." What a surprise.

By the end of 2004, I will have voted four times -- in the presidential primary, in the Democratic caucuses, in the District primary and in the Nov. 2 election. For D.C. residents who have to deal with long workdays, young children and poorly located polling places, voting is hardly convenient.

The voting system in the District is so frustrating. In addition to too many elections, neither the D.C. government nor the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics provides decent information on the races. The voter guide sent to my house told me that I could vote for, say, "Democratic -- Alternate National Committeeman" and provided a list of candidates, but didn't say what this elected official does or what the candidates stood for.

While we push for congressional representation, we need to recognize that D.C. voters are disenfranchised not only by Congress but also by the city's election system.




Why does The Post characterize Harold Brazil's primary election loss as caused by a revolt of voters east of the Anacostia River [front page, Sept. 16]?

A quick review of the D.C. Board of Elections' unofficial results shows that Mr. Brazil lost in every ward of the city. Voters west of the river were just as angry at his failed leadership. It's not only in Wards 7 and 8 where Mayor Anthony A. Williams, who endorsed Mr. Brazil, needs to reexamine his agenda ["Fazed Williams to Regroup," Metro, Sept. 16].




It boggles the mind: Why would voters return to the D.C. Council Marion Barry, a person who has disgraced himself, the District and even the nation (we are the nation's capital)? Why would voters not return Sandy Allen, who has contributed more than anyone else to lead her ward into prosperity?

Given his past, Mr. Barry will probably once again stumble, and then maybe the people of Ward 8 will see the wisdom of returning Ms. Allen to the council to continue her good work.

Does anyone really think the District will be permitted to be a state unless it cleans up its act? The starting point is clear.



It was disappointing, although not surprising, that The Post would quickly sound the alarm about the defeat of three incumbent D.C. Council members [editorial, Sept. 16].

The fact is that increasing numbers of Washingtonians are questioning what kind of community we are becoming. Some of us still believe that the city should be a place for residents of all races and economic levels. While the mayor and The Post focus on the "steady economic development" that has balanced the budget and pleased Wall Street, many Washingtonians have been excluded.

I hope the new council members will press for affordable housing and health care, improved schools, and adequate social services. That is what they were elected to do.



The writer is executive director of the Public Welfare Foundation in the District.


Whether or not Marion Barry has overcome his cocaine habit, Mr. Barry has shown that he abuses power. I believe in redemption and personal growth as much as the next person, but fool me twice, shame on me.