Two Students Elected to ANC
Published: Friday, November 9, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 9, 2012 02:11
Although Tuesday’s general election was marked by a surge in student voter turnout and two seats secured by students on the Advisory Neighborhood Commission for the first time in 10 years, the remainder of the D.C. political landscape was left mostly unchanged.
Peter Prindiville (SFS ’14) and Craig Cassey (COL ’15) will fill two student seats on ANC 2E, which was expanded to include eight commissioners as a result of recent redistricting.
Prindiville, who ran unopposed in single-member district 2E08, will represent Nevils, Alumni Square, Copley Hall, Harbin Hall, Village C East and Henle Village, as well as the two blocks between 36th and 37th Streets and between Prospect and O Streets.
Cassey, who will represent Village C West, New South Hall, Southwest Quadrangle, Village A and the Jesuit Residence, also ran unopposed and won the seat for district 2E04.
Prindiville said he learned of his victory through a friend at about 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday.
“I found out that I won from a friend who texted me the final numbers from the printout tape with vote totals that the Board of Elections posts on the door of the polling place,” he said.
Cassey had to wait longer to hear about his election results and split his night between following the presidential race and checking on his own.
“I spent the first half of the night watching the national results in Sellinger Lounge with the College Democrats and [checking] on the website where they post the ANC results,” he said. “I kept refreshing the page.”
Though the elections were uncontested, voter turnout was higher than in previous years. Prindiville received 61 votes, a number that does not include provisional ballots from voters who registered on Election Day. The total number of votes Prindiville and Cassey received will not be known until the election results have been certified Monday.
Nonetheless, Prindiville’s 61 votes mark a dramatic increase over the nine votes that propelled outgoing student commissioner Jake Sticka (COL ’13), who also ran uncontested, to victory in 2010. Aaron Golds (COL ’11) won an uncontested election with 48 votes in 2008. The last student commissioner to receive as many as Prindiville was Brett Clements (COL ’07), who tallied 96 in 2004.
The increased turnout led to shortages in ballots at the local polling place, forcing many same-day registered voters to cast provisional ballots, according to Prindiville.
“So many voters came to register and vote in my district on Tuesday that the Board of Elections ran out of ballots on two separate occasions,” Prindiville said. “This shows that students care about local politics, and I’m happy that they had the chance to make their voices heard at the polls.”
Prindville attributed the high turnout in part to his own get-out-the vote efforts.
“I was in contact with every single registered voter in my district … sending e-mails, mailing letters and knocking on doors,” he said. “I also stood outside the polls for six hours greeting voters and asking for their support.”
Although Prindiville and Cassey’s elections mark a significant shift for student representation locally, the remainder of the D.C. government looks much the same as it did before Nov. 6.
Incumbent Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) retained the seat she has held in the United States House of Representatives since 1991, winning 89 percent of the vote. With a total of 206,664 votes, Norton defeated challenger Bruce Majors, who received only 6 percent of the vote. However, Norton’s share of the popular vote was lower than in 2008, when she won with 92.3 percent.
Meanwhile, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans, who has held his seat on the D.C. Council since 1991, ran unchallenged and garnered 97 percent of the vote. Evans’ ward includes Georgetown, and he emerged as a supporter of the university’s neighbors in the battle over the 2010 Campus Plan.
The biggest change in the make-up of the D.C. Council was the removal of independent Councilmember Michael A. Brown in favor of challenger David Grosso (LAW ’01), also an independent. Both ran in the at-large council race, in which the two candidates with the most votes gained seats. Grosso and Brown received 21 percent and 15 percent of the vote, respectively. Both independents fell far behind Democratic incumbent Vincent Orange, who carried 37 percent of the vote in the seven-person race.