News & Politics

Ronald Machen Appoints an Election-Day Officer to Monitor Voting

But is it too little, too late?

Federal prosecutor Ronald Machen announced Tuesday morning that he has appointed an
“election-day officer” to monitor the voting on November 6 in the nation’s capital.

He might be a tad late.

Machen has tapped assistant US Attorney
Loyaan Egal to oversee the “handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights abuses”
in DC. Machen said Egal’s assignment will be part of the Department of Justice’s nationwide

Great idea. The District has not experienced any “hanging chad” type problems in its
counting of votes, and most elections in DC are not very close. Incumbents often sail
back to office by double-digit margins. Still, we have had problems with changed counts
and late reporting.

And this voting cycle could be close between at-large council member
Michael Brown and challenger
David Grosso. The problem is that Machen and Egal might have missed some serious shenanigans.

The city’s Board of Elections and Ethics fielded reports of questionable finances
in Brown’s campaign. On a more serious matter, the board was asked to examine Brown’s
petitions for fictitious names. The city’s examiners found problems in the petitions,
but not enough to disqualify Brown.

Perhaps Machen and Egal should take another look.