A series of fliers posted around campus this month opposes [former ANC District 2E04 Commissioner Westy Byrd’s](http://www.thehoya.com/news/three-vie-for-bryds-anc-seat/) campaign for the D.C. Board of Education, detailing her past anti-student actions. The fliers are one part of what Campaign Georgetown co-chair John Ruggini (SFS ’99) has called a recent focus on putting out information to students. Campaign Georgetown is a student-run organization dedicated to increasing the number of students participating in D.C. politics, according to Ruggini. The organization has been involved in two main projects since September. “We spent most of September registering student voters in the District,” Ruggini said. As a result of Campaign Georgetown’s efforts both this year and for the 1996 elections, there are now approximately 700 students registered to vote in the District, said Ruggini. As for the fliers about Byrd, “We take full responsibility for those signs,” said Ruggini. “Our name and e-mail address appeared on each one of those flyers.” Ruggini said Campaign Georgetown didn’t want to put up anonymous flyers like Westy Byrd did two years ago. In 1996, Byrd posted flyers around Georgetown’s campus with false information about the results of registering to vote in Washington, such as the loss of state-based scholarship money and having to get a District driver’s license, according to Ruggini. Campaign Georgetown has opposed Byrd’s bid for a position on the Board of Education because of her prior anti-student actions, as well as what they perceive to be a false campaign, said Ruggini. “We’re very pleased that a major newspaper, the City Paper, has agreed with our position on Byrd’s campaign,” said Ruggini. “We feel that Byrd’s claims to be a public school parent are ludicrous, because she only has one of her two children in public school, and only since this past September. The City Paper has also picked up on this.” On page 8 of the October 30 issue, in the “Loose Lips” column, the City Paper criticized The Washington Post’s endorsement of Byrd, which was based on her status as a public school parent. The City Paper reported, “[The Post] apparently failed to notice that Byrd’s daughter has attended D.C. public schools for only the past 60 days, having switched just in time to launch her political career … Her son still attends private school, and Byrd herself is a product of private schooling.” Byrd did not return two phone messages left yesterday. Campaign Georgetown has also been involved in [the Advisory Neighborhood Commission campaign of Matt Payne (COL ’01)](http://www.thehoya.com/news/sophomore-payne-seeks-seat-on-anc/). In the 1996 election, two Georgetown students, James Fogarty (COL ’98) and Rebecca Sinderbrand (COL ’99) won seats on the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission. The efforts of Campaign Georgetown to galvanize student voting were an important part of their success. This year, Campaign Georgetown is helping Payne in his bid for election to Fogarty’s ANC district 2E05 seat. Although Payne is opposed only by write-in candidate Robert Coquis, Ruggini said that members of Campaign Georgetown have volunteered their time to help residents see Payne as a legitimate candidate. Campaign Georgetown is also gearing up to help students fight potential challenges to their votes this next Tuesday. According to Ruggini, Georgetown resident Barbara Zartman, who is involved in a three-way race to fill Byrd’s vacated seat, is planning to challenge student votes again this election. Zartman’s district includes Copley and Harbin Halls, as well as the area between P St. and Reservoir Rd. over to Wisconsin Ave. Zartman’s challenges would be taken despite the extreme delays the challenging process caused in 1996, and despite the fact that students are legally permitted to vote in D.C., provided they are not registered anywhere else. “[Zartman] thinks we’re planning on cheating,” said Ruggini. According to Ruggini, Zartman is concerned that students who lived in Harbin in two years ago may not have changed their addresses and may try and vote in their old district, although they now live in different districts. However, in order to remedy the situation, Ruggini said that Campaign Georgetown will have a table set up at the polls where students may change their addresses before voting. “This is perfectly legal,” said Ruggini. Despite the fact that it may be time consuming, Ruggini said, it is the only way students will be able to legally vote and avoid having their votes challenged. “We would have started this sooner,” said Ruggini, “but we didn’t have the time to get the process started.” Zartman added that her pollwatchers would challenge the votes of any local resident if the watchers believed that the voters did not live where they were registered. She said this policy is not aimed at students. “This is standard in any election in any jurisdiction,” she said. Zartman said Georgetown has a reasonably high population turnover apart from the student population because there are many young professionals who rent and then move out of the jurisdiction. She said District voter lists are sloppy and the Board of Elections will probably challenge voters who do not live where they are registerered before her pollwatchers do. Campaign Georgetown has also published the Ward 2 Review. It is a student voter’s resource, said Ruggini, detailing the issues at hand and suggesting whom students should vote for. Ruggini said that students should pick up a copy and inform themselves before voting next week. In addition, students should procure some proof of their residence in Washington, such as a voter card or a bill with their name and D.C. address on it.

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