DIVINE 9 PETITION CIRCULATION COMPETITION
Make All Votes Count DC
A Ballot Initiative to Reform DC’s Elections
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YOUR FRATERNITY OR SORORITY CAN EARN UP TO $15,000
ALL FRATERNITIES AND SORORITIES THAT PARTICIPATE CAN EARN UP TO $5,000
SUMMARY: The Make All Votes Count DC campaign (“the Campaign”), the sponsor of Initiative 83 in Washington, DC, invites the Divine 9 at Howard University to the “Initiative 83 Petition Circulation Competition” (“the Competition”). The Campaign seeks to change DC’s broken political system by implementing ranked choice voting and opening up DC’s primary elections to allow independent voters to participate. The Sorority or Fraternity that collects at least 3,000 valid signatures and has the highest Petition Circulation Score, which is the percentage of total signatures that are valid signatures collected from DC voters over 60 days, will be awarded $10,000. The Campaign will also pay each Sorority or Fraternity $1 for each valid signature, up to $5,000. The top collecting Sorority or Fraternity may end up with $15,000 and all participating organizations have the chance to be awarded up to $5,000 for their participation in the Competition.
REGISTRATION PROCESS: Your Sorority or Fraternity must register with the Campaign before February 22, 2024. After being registered, every member of the Sorority or Fraternity who plans to circulate the Initiative 83 petition during the Competition is required to attend a petition circulator training session to ensure that members of the Sorority or Fraternity are taught how to legally circulate ballot access petitions in the District of Columbia. Members of the Sorority or Fraternity who do not live in the District of Columbia proper will first be required to register in person with the DC Board of Elections before the start of the Competition. Every member of the Sorority or Fraternity must provide the Campaign proof that they live in DC or have registered with the DC Board of Elections before being issued petitions to participate in the Competition.
THE PETITION CIRCULATION COMPETITION: Petition circulation involves the collection of legal names, registered address, and signatures among the 445,000 registered voters in the District of Columbia. The Campaign is seeking to collect the signatures of 5% of the registered voters in 5 of the 8 wards of the District of Columbia before July 8, 2024. The Competition Period is March 1, 2024 until May 1, 2024. A valid signature is defined by the Campaign as one where the voter’s name, address, and signature on the petition matches the voter’s record on file with the DC Board of Elections. Every Initiative 83 petition contains five (5) lines, where up to five (5) voters may show their support for placing Ballot Initiative #83 on the November general election ballot. For every valid signature that is collected by members of the Sorority or Fraternity, the Campaign will donate to the Sorority or Fraternity one dollar ($1.00), up to five thousand dollars ($5,000). In order to be in the running for the $10,000 grand prize, the Sorority or Fraternity must submit at least 3,000 valid signatures during the Competition period. There is no limit on the number of members a Sorority or Fraternity may include in the Competition, but every member of the Sorority or Fraternity involved in the Competition must register as a petition circulator with the Campaign. Failure of the Sorority or Fraternity to register their petition circulators may disqualify Sorority or Fraternity from winning the grand prize because the signatures will negatively impact the Petition Circulation Score.
PETITION CIRCULATION SCORE: The Sorority or Fraternity with the highest Petition Circulation Score will be awarded the $10,000. The Sorority or Fraternity is penalized for incorrectly collecting signatures from non-voters or for collecting signatures on petitions that are completed incorrectly as well as by not registering their petition circulators with the Campaign. The Petition Circulation Score is defined as the number valid signatures submitted by the Sorority or Fraternity multiplied by the percent of valid signatures from registered circulators that are turned in by the Sorority or Fraternity. For example, a Sorority or Fraternity collects 8,000 signatures during the Competition, but only 5,000 are deemed valid, then the Sorority or Fraternity will have a Petition Circulation Score of 62.5% (5,000 valid signatures divided by 8,000 total signatures multiplied by 100). The Sorority or Fraternity would be paid $5,000 for the 5,000 valid signatures and if they have a highest Petition Circulation Score among Sorority or Fraternity (who collected at least 3,000 valid signatures) they will win the grand prize of $10,000, for a grand total of $15,000 that will be donated by the Campaign to the Sorority or Fraternity within 30 days after the Competition ends. The Campaign takes fraud seriously and will disqualify any Sorority or Fraternity found to be circulating petitions under false pretenses or forging signatures of registered voters. Beyond disqualification, the DC Board of Elections may fine individuals up to $10,000 and/or imprison them for up to a year.
Sororities and Fraternities that are 501(c)(3)’s are still able to participate in the Competition, but should seek guidance from their tax advisor or compliance/legal advisor about limits on the amount that could be spent on the Competition.