In the event Mayor Vincent Gray and the D.C. City Council fail to come to an agreement over a spending bill for the May 15 Ward 5 special election, there's a chance the election won't happen.
The Ward 5 election is one of two that the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics is charged with conducting this spring and while the April 3 primary is fully funded, $318,000 is needed to proceed with the election that seeks to fill the seat vacated in January by former Councilman Harry Thomas Jr.
According to a published report, the three-member election board warned Gray and Councilmember Muriel Bowser in a letter this week that if it didn't receive the funds needed to conduct the election in the next week, it risked not being able to meet deadlines for getting ballots and voter notification cards printed in time.
Elections Board chair Deborah Nichols reportedly wrote in the letter that, "If funds are not made available immediately, the Board will be in the untenable position of violating either laws relating to timely public notice and distribution of ballots or the provision of the Anti-Deficiency Act."
The report further stated that Gray spokesman Pedro Ribeiro indicated that the money was included in a $42 million supplemental budget submitted in January by the mayor to cover shortfalls in certain agencies -- and that the City Council just needs to vote on it.