Butler & Henderson during an ANC 5D Meeting. Detail from a video by Edward Milton
The Board of Elections has posted results of challenges to the nominating petitions for two candidates of local note, Kathy Henderson and James Q. Butler. Both Henderson and Butler sit on Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5D. Commissioner Butler represents Single Member District ("SMD") 5D03, while Henderson holds the 5D05 seat. Henderson filed for the DC Council Ward 5 seat currently held by incumbent Kenyan McDuffie, and Butler has thrown his hat into the race for Mayor against Muriel Bowser [LINK PLAYS VIDEO WITH SOUND].
James Butler survived two challenges and will appear on the ballot for the June 19th Democratic primary, but Henderson was denied ballot access after a challenge put her under the required number of signatures. I've summarized the details below, but you can also read the full memorandum opinions and orders.
There were two challenges to Butler's nominating petition, which he filed with 2,693 signatures. He needed 2,000 valid signatures in order to appear on the ballot for the June 19, 2018 Democratic primary.
Didier Sinisterra challenged 565 of Butler's signatures on various enumerated grounds, and also challenged whether four of Butler's petition circulators were properly qualified. District law requires that a petition circulator must be at least 18 years old and either a resident of the District of Columbia, or a "resident of another jurisdiction who has registered with the Board as a petition circulator and consented to being subject to the subpoena power of the Board and the jurisdiction of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for the enforcement of subpoenas without respect to the individual’s place of residence"
If those four circulators had all been found not qualified this would have cost Butler an additional 487 signatures, for a total of 1,052. The Registrar of Voters found 631 of those challenges valid and 421 valid, leaving Butler with 2,062 signatures, more than enough to gain ballot access. Sinisterra did not appear at either the pre-hearing conference or the actual hearing. Therefore the Board accepted the Registrar's findings and rejected Sinisterra's challenge.
In a separate filing Ernest Johnson challenged the validity of 1,376 of Mr. Butler's signatures on various grounds. The Registrar found 718 of those challenges valid and 658 invalid, leaving Butler with 1,975 signatures, 25 short of what he needed to make the ballot. Mr. Butler was subsequently able to cure some of the deficiencies, and ended up with 2,028 valid signatures. That left Butler 28 more signatures than he needed for ballot access.
Henderson, however, fared less well in the challenge process. Henderson filed 302 signatures, and needed 250 valid signatures for ballot access.
Of those 302 signatures submitted, Gayle Carley challenged 103 on various grounds. The Registrar found 94 of those challenges valid, and 9 invalid. Henderson was able to cure some of the deficiencies, but even after that she ended up with only 212 valid signatures, 38 short of what she needed. The Board ordered that the challenge be upheld and Henderson be denied ballot access.