The effort to get corporate money out of D.C. politics took a blow Wednesday, as the D.C. Board of Elections found that the number of verified signatures for Initiative 70 fell short of the mark needed to get the issue on the ballot.
Bryan Weaver and the D.C. Committee to Restore Public Trust petitioned to get the initiative, which would prohibit businesses and corporations from making direct campaign contributions to candidates for D.C. office, on the November ballot.
"The Board of Elections ruled that we are 1,726 signatures short of 23,727 that we need to make the ballots," says Weaver.
Weaver and the campaign says they turned in a list of 30,356 signatures, but the D.C. Board of Elections tossed out many of those, citing missing addresses, signatures that didn't match records and signatures by unregistered voters.
"You know, we're looking at 3,100 people who are registered voters in the District who signed the petition, but have had a change of address," says Weaver. He says the group's next step is to focus on those voters to get the required number of signatures during a 10-day appeal period.
"We're in the process of trying to track down those voters and see if we can get them change of address forms," says Weaver.
A spokesperson for the D.C. Board of Elections says petitioners needed signatures from 5-percent of all registered voters in the District as well as 5 percent of registered voters in at least four of the District's eight wards. They currently only meet the mark in four wards.