Vincent Gray‘s campaign just released its formal request to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics to keep polling places open until 10 p.m. tonight—two hours later than scheduled—because of some reports of problems with machines this morning. By 1 p.m. today, Gray aides told the BOEE, they’d received 120 complaints.
“The reports we have received of voting irregularities have been extremely disheartening, and we are doing everything we can to see that District voters have their ballots counted and voices heard,” Gray said in a statement that aides apparently compiled in between McDonald’s stops. “The Board of Elections has told us that irregularities are being handled, but we strongly believe that extending poll hours is the only appropriate action to ensure that residents who wanted to participate in the democratic process are allowed to do so.”‘
It’s not entirely clear whether the BOEE plans to do anything with the letter. Gray’s campaign appears to have faxed it in a little after 4 p.m., but the last line requests an answer by 5 p.m. on whether “BOEE will extend polling hours without the need for us to seek court intervention.” Aides didn’t send the letter to the press until after that deadline had already passed.
UPDATE: Gray’s campaign is giving the BOEE a little more time. Campaign lawyer Loyd Jordan says Gray aides will wait until about 7 p.m. before deciding whether to file a lawsuit. If the BOEE decides against extending hours, Jordan says, the Gray camp plans to take legal action. They consider the office culpable. “People were turned away from voting because of the negligence of the board,” says Jordan.
Around the BOEE office, word is that if the board does decide to comply with Gray’s demands, they’ll only keep about four precincts open. Jordan says that’s unacceptable. “I don’t see how they can pick and choose like that,” he says. “The problem is widespread.”
Read the letter after the jump (click each image to expand it):