October 12, 2016 at 3:19 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay school board member’s opponent disqualified
Jack Jacobson, gay news, Washington Blade

Jack Jacobson (Photo courtesy of Jacobson)

In a little-noticed development, the D.C. Board of Elections on Sept. 12 disqualified the sole opponent of gay D.C. State Board of Education member Jack Jacobson from being placed on the ballot in the Nov. 8 election on grounds that she failed to obtain the required number of valid signatures on her nominating petition.

In a three-page opinion and order, the board ruled that Carrie Bachner, who heads a national security consulting firm, submitted only 197 valid petition signatures out of the 200 required to obtain ballot access for the Ward 2 Board of Education seat.

The action means that Jacobson will run unopposed in his bid for election to a second four-year term for the Ward 2 seat on the Board of Education. In January, Jacobson’s colleagues on the board elected him to a second one-year term as president of the board, continuing his status as the city’s highest-ranking openly gay elected official.

“My team did a really great job of reviewing the signatures and putting our challenge together,” Jacobson said. “We’re going to continue our door knocking and getting out into the community – and on to Nov. 8.”

Board of Elections records show that the board acted after Jacobson challenged the validity of 91 out of 255 signatures submitted by Bachner on grounds that the signers were not duly registered voters, were not registered at the address they listed on the petition, or the petition did not have the printed name of a signer when the signature was illegible.

After giving Bachner an opportunity to correct or respond to the challenged signatures, as allowed under the election law, the board ruled that she could provide a total of only 197 valid signatures out of the 200 required.

“It is hereby ordered that candidate Carrie Bachner is denied ballot access for the office of Ward 2 Member of the State Board of Education,” the board stated in its ruling.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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