Councilmember Charles Allen, Chairperson
Committee on the Judiciary & Public Safety
Announces a Public Oversight Roundtable on
The Board of Elections’ Preparations for the
November 3, 2020 General Election
Thursday, September 10, 2020, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Virtual Hearing via Zoom
To Watch Live:
On Thursday, September 10, 2020, Councilmember Charles Allen, Chairperson of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, will convene a public oversight roundtable to discuss the Board of Elections’ Preparations for the November 3, 2020 General Election. The roundtable will be held virtually via Zoom from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Pre-registered public witnesses will testify from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and government witnesses will testify from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Board of Elections (“the Board”) is an independent District agency, overseen by a Chairperson and two other board members, and is responsible for administering elections in the District. Leading up to the June 2, 2020 Primary Election and the June 16, 2020 Ward 2 Special Election, the Board experienced significant challenges regarding mail-in balloting, technology, communications, and outreach, in part due to the unprecedented COVID-19 public health crisis. Many issues were not resolved by Election Day, ultimately resulting in long lines at the polls, public confusion, and voter disenfranchisement.
The Committee subsequently convened an “after-action” public oversight roundtable to discuss what went wrong and identify solutions in advance of the November 3, 2020 General Election. The Committee is now convening this second public oversight roundtable to receive updates from the Board about its preparations for the General Election, conduct oversight, and provide a public forum for feedback to the Board and Committee.
The Committee invites the public to provide oral and/or written testimony. Public witnesses seeking to provide oral testimony at the Committee’s roundtable must thoroughly review the following instructions:
- Anyone wishing to provide oral testimony must email the Committee at [email protected] with their name, telephone number, organizational affiliation, and title (if any), by the close of business on Monday, September 7.
- The Committee will approve witnesses’ registrations based on the total time allotted for public testimony. The Committee will also determine the order of witnesses’ testimony.
- Witnesses who are approved by the Committee to testify will be emailed Zoom registration instructions for the roundtable, which they must complete in order to be placed on the final witness list and access their unique Zoom link.
- Representatives of organizations will be allowed a maximum of five minutes for oral testimony, and individuals (and any subsequent representatives of the same organizations) will be allowed a maximum of three minutes.
- Witnesses are not permitted to yield their time to, or substitute their testimony for, the testimony of another individual or organization.
- If possible, witnesses should submit a copy of their testimony electronically in advance to [email protected].
- Witnesses who anticipate needing language interpretation are requested to inform the Committee as soon as possible, but no later than five business days before the roundtable. The Committee will make every effort to fulfill timely requests; however, requests received fewer than five business days before the roundtable may not be fulfilled.
For witnesses who are unable to testify at the roundtable, written statements will be made part of the official record. Copies of written statements should be emailed to the Committee at [email protected] no later than the close of business on Friday, September 18.