|Norton Bill to Give District Flexibility on Scheduling Special Elections Will Be Marked Up Tuesday|
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s (D-DC) bill to give the District of Columbia flexibility in scheduling special elections will be marked by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building. Norton expressed frustration last month when the District was forced to delay the Ward 5 special election until May 15 because a bill she sponsored last Congress, which would have allowed the election to take place earlier, had passed the House but died in the Senate due to an anonymous hold that likely had nothing to do with the legislation.
Current law requires the city to wait 114 days before holding a special election to fill a vacancy, but Norton, at the request of the Mayor and D.C. Council, introduced the District of Columbia Special Election Reform Act today to provide the D.C. Board of Elections a window between 70 and 174 days.
“This non-controversial bill about the fine points of D.C. elections should be of no concern to Congress, so I expect passage in the House once again, and because anonymous holds are no longer permitted in the Senate, I hope the Senate will follow suit,” Norton said. “I particularly want to thank Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) for his considerable assistance and for moving quickly on this bill so that District residents in the future will not have to wait an unnecessarily long time for representation after a vacancy.”
The law would apply to the Mayor and D.C. Council, as well as to the Attorney General, when that office becomes an elected position in 2014. By giving the District a window to hold special elections for these positions, officials will be able to more quickly schedule elections to fill vacancies, avoid scheduling elections on religious holidays, and more often be able to schedule special elections to coincide with other election dates.
Published: February 6, 2012