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This is the Bread of Election: The upcoming special election for the D.C. Council, by law, falls on April 26. By a somewhat older law, so does the last day of Passover. Which means observant Jews aren’t supposed to write, or use the electronic voting machines, until 8:40 p.m. Polls are scheduled to close at 8 p.m. So Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Shalom—The National Synagogue is suing the Board of Elections and Ethics, seeking to keep polls open until 10 p.m. or later. Early voting, of course, is available now, from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday (though Friday afternoon and Saturday would also pose problems for anyone observant enough not to vote during Passover). Nu, rabbi: If the polls close at 8, but anyone who wants to has several weeks to vote before the actual date of the election, dayenu. -1
Get Out the Online Vote: Instant runoff voting is one of those ideas that you know is too sensible to ever be implemented in this country. It lets voters rank candidates in order of preference; if no candidate gets a majority, the lowest ranked one loses, and the second-choice votes from people who ranked that candidate first get counted. And so on. Greater Greater Washington decided to run an IRV poll for that upcoming D.C. Council race, combining both a sampling of urbanist opinion and a voting system good-government types love. And then Sekou Biddle decided to try to win the (completely non-binding) survey, sending out four consecutive tweets directing supporters to it. By the end of the day, Bryan Weaver was still winning. And absolutely no one was surprised. -1
Vote ‘Em Out, Sheriff: No matter how D.C. voters feel about their elected officials, at least we can all take comfort knowing that—so far—none of them have been evicted from their homes. Residents of Brentwood, just over the District line in Maryland, can’t say the same; Mayor Xzavier Montgomery-Wright was tossed out of her home for being $7,400 behind in rent. If she’s not a resident of the town, she can’t serve the second term she’s running for. -1
Mascot, You Are No Jack Kennedy: Going to Nationals games the last few years has been fairly predictable—the team will lose, and large-headed likenesses of George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, Abe Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson will race. (And TR will not win.) Last night, the script changed a bit. Not the baseball part; the team lost to the Phillies. And no, Teddy didn’t finally pull it out. Instead, John F. Kennedy made his debut in the race, knocking over Washington near the right field fence. Somehow Washington came back to win. We look forward to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt president racing one day, zipping around on a wheelchair, defeating fascism, and looking dapper while he does it. +1
Yesterday’s Needle rating: 63 Today’s score: -2 Today’s Needle rating: 61