The D.C. Board of Elections has rejected an effort challenging signatures collected by D.C. Council member Trayon White in his mayoral bid, clearing the way for him to appear on the ballot in the June primary.
The three-member board said despite many invalid signatures, Trayon White’s campaign collected more than enough for him to appear on the ballot.
The signature challenge was raised by D.C. Council Member Robert White, who’s also running for mayor. His campaign claimed that nearly two-thirds of the nearly 4,400 signatures submitted by Trayon White’s campaign were deficient.
The registrar of voters, however, later ruled that 2,199 signature were valid. The number required is 2,000 signatures.
In a decision announced shortly after 5 p.m. Friday, D.C. Board of Elections Chair Gary Thompson said the board “exhaustively” reviewed the matter and “after the dust has settled,” Trayon White still ended up with 138 more signatures than he needed to appear.
The vote to reject the challenge was unanimous.
In a board hearing earlier Friday, Robert White’s campaign also said there were problems verifying that the campaign workers who collected signatures, known as circulators, were actually D.C. residents or had properly registered with the board of elections.
Robert White’s campaign pointed to five circulators — who collected a total of 238 signatures — that it said it could not verify are D.C. residents. Christy White, legal counsel for Robert White’s campaign, claimed documents provided by Trayon White’s campaign seeking to prove the circulators lived at D.C. addresses appeared to contain Photoshopped signatures.
During the hearing, Trayon White denied any fraudulent signatures and sharply criticized the proceedings, saying his campaign “went above and beyond to make sure we had enough signatures to qualify.”
Referring to the challenge lodged by Robert White’s campaign, Trayon White said, “This is an assault on democracy.” He also called it “voter suppression” and a witch hunt.”
Following the hearing, Trayon White tweeted to his opponent.
@RobertWhite_DC you should be ashamed of that weak witch hunt you went on to silence democracy of brown and black people. I thought you were better than that slim. Just drop out now, it’s up! Power to the People!
“If God be for you, who can be against you” . Rom. 8:31
— Trayon White (@trayonwhite) April 22, 2022
The Democratic primary is June 21.
Robert White and Trayon White are both challenging Mayor Muriel Bowser, who is seeking a third term.