The Committee to Hold Jack Evans Accountable is pleased that Councilmember Jack Evans finally submitted his resignation on January 7, 2020. Throughout the entire campaign, the committee had a standing offer to end the petitioning and close down the committee if Councilmember Evans resigned or made a public statement indicating that he would not seek reelection. He never did. In the end, it was the pressure from his fellow councilmembers that nearly resulted in him becoming the first councilmember to be expelled from the DC Council that instigated his resignation.
The Committee to Hold Jack Evans Accountable would like to thank the thousands of Ward 2 voters who signed the recall petition, the dozens of campaign volunteers from across the region, and the DC Councilmembers who voted to recommend the expulsion of their colleague. Together we have worked to help restore the integrity to the DC Council.
Altogether we collected 4,333 valid signatures from Ward 2 voters. While the 10% threshold we needed to trigger the recall election was 4,949 signatures, we believe that we achieved more than 10% because the DC Board of Elections’ voter rolls are wildly inaccurate. With over 7,000 registered voters in Ward 2 who have not cast a ballot in Ward 2 since November 2012, we believe our campaign was hurt by having thousands of inactive voters present on the voter rolls. The remedy is to not remove these voters from the rolls, but to change the regulations so that inactive voters are not counted against the total number of signatures a campaign is required to collect.
The Special Election to fill the vacancy is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16, 2020. The date of the special election is two weeks after the District of Columbia’s Primary Election, on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. For those who want to ensure Ward 2 is lead by the best person possible, we encourage you to volunteer with one of the campaigns and/or donate money. May the most qualified candidate lead Ward 2!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Committee to Hold Jack Evans Accountable to Submit 5,588 Signatures to DC Board of Elections
Most signatures collected ever in a Ward 2 political campaign shows wide support for removing Jack Evans from the DC Council
Wildly Inaccurate Ward 2 Voter Rolls Harm Local Democracy
WASHINGTON, DC – At 3:00pm, November 18, 2019, the Committee to Hold Jack Evans Accountable (the “Recall Campaign”) will submit over 5,588 signatures to the DC Board of Elections (1015 Half Street, SE, Suite 750). The petitioning phase of the recall campaign began on May 18, 2019 and with the help of 89 petitioners, the Recall Campaign collected more signatures from Ward 2 voters than any other political campaign since the Home Rule Act went into effect in the 1970’s.
“While Councilmember Jack Evans has been asked to resign by most of his colleagues on the DC Council, it will be his constituents who have the final say,” says Recall Campaign Chairman Adam Eidinger. “I offered to suspend this campaign on multiple occasions, but Mr. Evans has refused to either resign or indicate that he would not seek reelection, so for the last 6 months we have spoken to thousands of voters who overwhelmingly support restoring integrity and these signatures are proof.”
Voters of the District of Columbia have four petitioning options at their disposal: a nominating petition, a ballot initiative petition, a referendum petition, and a recall petition. Each petitioning option has its own submission requirements in order to be accepted by the Board of Elections. In the case of a nominating petition for a Ward 2 councilmember, a candidate must submit 250 valid signatures of Ward 2 voters 90 days before the primary election. For a ballot initiative and referendum petition, campaigns must submit signatures from 5% of the registered voters in 5 of the 8 Wards. For a recall petition of a Ward-level councilmember, campaigns must submit signatures of 10% of the registered voters residing in the Ward within 180 days. Based on the October 15, 2019, voter registration total, the Recall Campaign needed to submit 4,949 signatures to trigger a special election.
DC VOTERS ROLLS HORRIBLY INFLATED PUTTING CAMPAIGN AT SEVERE DISADVANTAGE
“We may have more than 20% of the signatures of Ward 2 voters who actually live in the District of Columbia, but the shoddy voter rolls tell another story,” says the Recall Campaign’s volunteer Field Director, Nikolas Schiller. “During the course of this campaign, we have discovered thousands of voters who do not live in Ward 2, yet are still listed as active on the voter rolls, and this makes the threshold of triggering a recall election much more difficult and unfair.”
For example, nearly 3% of the registered voters in Ward 2 are students at either George Washington University or Georgetown University and are registered at annual residences. This means it is impossible for the Recall Campaign to reach these students at their registered addresses because each year they change addresses while completing their degrees. At 1900 F Street NW (GWU’s Thurston Hall), there are currently 240 registered voters and as a strictly freshman dorm, not one of those voters still lives there. Some voters at that address go back to the late 1990’s and the Recall Campaign discovered they are registered to vote in other states.
“We also have to deal with what the Recall Campaign is calling ‘ghost voters,’ who are registered to vote, but haven’t voted since at least 2012.” continues Schiller. In total, the Recall Campaign identified at least 7,000 voters who have not voted since Barack Obama was on the ballot in November 2012. This amounts to 14% of the total voters in Ward 2 who have either moved or should be considered inactive voters.
The Board of Elections is charged with maintaining an up to date voter file. In order to do this, the DC Board of Elections removes inactive voters on odd numbered years. Between October 2018 and October 2019, the total number of registered voters in Ward 2 was reduced by 513 voters. However, between October 2019 and October 2015, the total number of registered voters increased by 7,773 voters. New construction within Ward 2 could account for this dramatic increase in the total number of voters, but the Recall Campaign believes this is due to the Board of Elections failing to maintain an accurate number of registered voters in the Ward.
WARD 2 VOTERS ARE THE MOST DIFFICULT TO REACH
“I would knock on doors with 5 registered voters and all of them would have moved and the person who answered the door would not even be registered to vote at the address. It was quite frustrating, I think the most common voter name in Ward 2 should be AirBnB,” says Kris Furnish, the Recall Campaign’s volunteer coordinator. “To make matters worse, Ward 2 is full of large apartment buildings that are inaccessible to petition circulators.”
Ward 2 is home to numerous large apartment buildings where petitioners were frequently harassed by building management for participating in the most basic democratic process: petitioning our government. “We contend that ‘solicitation’ should refer to only asking for money or selling a product, not engaging free speech activities, like petitioning our government,” continues Furnish. The 25 largest voting addresses in Ward 2 amount to over 7,000 voters, or 14% of the registered voters, who cannot be reached in person by campaign volunteers. “The DC Council needs to pass a law that says that petitioning in all residential buildings is a sacred right and cannot be denied.” concludes Furnish.
NEXT STEPS FOR WARD 2 VOTERS
The Board of Elections has 30 calendar days to certify the petition. Once the petitions have been certified to have a sufficient number of signatures, the Board of Elections shall conduct a special election for the voters of Ward 2. The special ballot will ask voters if they are FOR or AGAINST the recall of Councilmember Jack Evans. If a majority of voters choose FOR, Councilmember Jack Evans will become the first member of the Council of the District of Columbia to be recalled from office since the Home Rule Act went into effect.
Voters of Ward 2 will then have a special election in the Spring of 2020 to provide representation for the remainder of Evans’ term, which concludes at the end of 2020. Ward 2 voters will also have a primary election on June 2, 2020 to choose candidates for the general election, which will take place on November 2, 2020.
The Recall Campaign is aware of the costs associated to District of Columbia taxpayers that will be incurred by having two additional elections in 2020 and is why we asked Councilmember Jack Evans to step down before beginning the petitioning.
“A week ago on Veterans Day our signature count was at 4,836 and we are now nearly 5,600. I am proud of the nearly 1,000 additional signatures collect, but it didn’t come cheap. I am hoping people will consider donating to our campaign and help us fundraise an additional $2,000,” concludes Recall Campaign Treasurer Eleanor “Echo” Ory.
To learn more about the Committee to Hold Jack Evans Accountable please visit www.Ward2CitizensRecall.org
FINAL WEEK TO SIGN!
Petitions Due November 18, 2019!
While we wish the DC Board of Elections allowed citizens to sign the recall petition on their computers, we are required by law to have the petitions signed in person. We know many Ward 2 voter lead very busy lives, so let us come to YOU!
On May 20, 2019, the DC Board of Elections issued the official circulating petition for the campaign. We have until November 18, 2019 to collect signatures of 10% of the registered voters in Ward 2 (approximately 5,000 valid signatures). You might have seen petition circulators at busy areas around Ward 2 collecting signatures over the summer. You may have answered the door to a campaign volunteer seeking your signature last weekend. By signing the recall petition you are notifying the DC Board of Elections of your support for a special election where voters like yourself will have the opportunity to remove embattled Councilmember Jack Evans from the DC Council.
There has never been a DC Councilmember recalled from office. Help make history by signing the petition!
This is the recall petition of @JackEvansWard2. Only Ward 2 residents may sign but any citizen can collect. We want your help. Sign up at https://t.co/PhuafWvzDY and donate to Committee to Hold Jack Evans Accountable (max $500.) Mail to 2448 Massachusettes Ave NW WDC 20008 pic.twitter.com/3UBQ08JssP
— Ward 2 Citizens Recall (@ward2recall) May 21, 2019
The Ward 2 Citizens Recall campaign needs volunteer energy! From knocking on doors to fundraising to collecting signatures from registered voters, volunteers are integral to a successful Recall campaign. Please take a moment to fill out this Google Form:
DC Councilmember Jack Evans behaves as if there is no legal or ethical distinction between being an elected representative and pursuing his own financial self-interest. That is why he must be removed from office.
Evans has brazenly sought work with companies that seek to influence the DC government or Metro, whose board he chairs. He has peddled his expertise at swaying his fellow Councilmembers or Metro board members for many years. According to documents uncovered by the Washington Post, he has corrupted his office by using his DC Council staff to solicit paid work.
These solicitations, clearly unethical and possibly illegal, have drawn the attention of a federal grand jury. The investigations into Evans’s deplorable actions should continue, but his constituents do not need to wait for the results. We must remove him from the DC Council to ensure his conflict of interests do not continue to harm District residents.
Finally, Evans has voted to repeal voter initiatives, parks his car illegally as a matter of right, and voted against campaign finance reforms that may restrict his shenanigans.
By signing this petition you are seeking to have a special election to remove Jack Evans from office.
This Recall Statement was submitted to the DC Board of Elections on Friday, April 12, 2019
Please donate to the Ward 2 Citizens Recall campaign! Under current District of Columbia campaign financial law, you can donate a maximum of $500 to “Committee to Hold Jack Evans Accountable“
Please mail your checks to:
Committee to Hold Jack Evans Accountable
2448 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008
In order to comply with Office of Campaign Finance reporting requirements, please include with the check your full name and address, occupation, and principal place of business. Please do not send cash.
Online Donation Form:
Question: What is a Recall?
Answer: A Recall is the process for which citizens of the District of Columbia can remove an elected official from office.
Question: How does a Recall work?
Answer: A Recall is a multistep process that starts with a Recall Statement that outlines why the elected official should be removed from office, this statement, once approved by the Board of Elections, is then placed on a special circulating petition. Then registered voters have 180 days to sign the circulating petition, and if 10% of the registered voters sign the petition, there will be a Special Election that asks voters if they want to keep the elected official in office or remove them from office. If the majority of voters choose to remove the elected official from office, they will be Recalled.
Question: How many signatures are needed to Recall a Ward-level Councilmember?
Answer: The petitioners need to collect signatures of 10% of the registered voters in the Ward.
Question: How many registered voters are there in Ward 2?
Answer: Based on the DC Board of Elections February 28 tally, Ward 2 currently has 51,590 registered voters. Therefore, the Recall campaign needs to collect 5,159 signatures from Ward 2 voters.
Question: Where can I find the rules around the District of Columbia’s Recall process?
Answer: The DC Municipal Regulations concerning the recall of elected officials can be found Title 3, Chapter 11.
Question: Where is Ward 2 in Washington, DC?
Question: Can I sign online?
Answer: Unfortunately, the DC Board of Elections does not permit DC voters to sign petitions online.
Question: Can you bring me a petition to sign?
Answer: YES! If you would like to sign the recall petition, we can bring a petition to you. Please fill out our Volunteer Form with your name & phone number and in the “Anything else you’d like us to know?” box, please tell us the best time for us to bring a petition to you. A member of the campaign will reach out to coordinate the best time.
Question: If the recall campaign turns in a sufficient number of signatures of Ward 2 voters to the Board of Elections, when will the Special Election take place?
Answer: The District of Columbia’s election law requires that the Board of Elections hold a Special Election within 114 days after the recall petition is certified. For example, if the petition is submitted on November 18, 2019, and certified by December 1, 2019, then the Special Election will be held before the end of April 2020. However, the sooner the recall campaign submits the required number of signatures, the sooner the Special Election will take place.
Answer: NO! While our goals may be similar, we are two completely different political entities. Sack Jack is a Political Action Committee that was formed by DC residents who wish to pressure Councilmember Jack Evans to resign. The Committee to Hold Jack Evans Accountable (aka Ward 2 Citizens Recall) is a recall campaign committee that has the sole purpose of collecting signatures from registered Ward 2 voters to force a Special Election that will give voters the opportunity to kick Councilmember Jack Evans off the DC Council. As a recall campaign committee we are bound by a different set of laws, including campaign contribution limits. We urge you to support BOTH efforts!
Question: Since the Home Rule Act was passed by Congress, which created the 13-member DC Council, how many DC Councilmembers have been recalled?
Answer: Zero! Help make history with us by signing the recall petition to create a Special Election that will remove Councilmember Jack Evans.