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D.C. Board of Elections: ‘Well, We Messed Up.’

One week later, the board of elections is apologizing. (via @ericfidler)
One week later, the board of elections is apologizing. (via @ericfidler)

One week after a lighthearted dismissal of the error, the District of Columbia’s election board issued a formal apology to voters for printing an upside down image of the D.C. flag on its official voter guide.  

“Well, we messed up. BIG time,” the three-person board said Thursday in a statement that also expressed regret for “fumbling” its handling of the issue on Oct. 16.  

The apology comes after a Tuesday news conference in which Mayor Vincent Gray said the flub has “tested severely” his faith in the independent agency responsible for the administration of elections, ballot access and voter registration. “I don’t have … a lot of evidence that I can point to at this stage that would lead me to have a lot of confidence in what’s going to happen between now and, of course, Nov. 4,” Gray said.

D.C. Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie has also chastised the board for the misprint. The Ward 5 Democrat called the flipped flag “yet another example of the type of glaring mistakes that continues to occur,” in a statement.  McDuffie grilled Deborah Nichols, chairman of the board, during a recent oversight hearing over delays in vote counting during the D.C.’s April 1 primary election.  

Board spokeswoman Denise Tolliver could not say if the criticism from elected officials prompted the latest response. She told CQ Roll Call the members of the board issued the statement. An apology also went out on social media .


The elections board emphasized information inside the guide — mailed to more than 300,000 households — is still helpful for the general election. Nine early voting centers will open on Oct. 25, part of “one of the most extensive early voting programs in the country,” according to the board.  

“Again, it is important to us that you know that we recognize our mistake, and we are changing the way we do things,” the statement concludes. “Let’s move forward together for a successful election.”  


Oops: Upside-Down Flag Mars D.C. Voter Guide

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