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  • CLPA Staff

DC Council Vote Report: Heirs Property, Election Reform, and Paternity Establishment Legislation

This week the DC Council held final votes on four important bills. See how your member vote below. The next step in the legislative process for these bills is approval by the mayor and then review by the U.S. Congress before it becomes official law.


B24-0156 - Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act of 2021 (now known as "Partition of Real Property Act of 2022")


Heirs Property is land that is jointly owned by descendants of a deceased person whose estate was never handled in probate court and is passed down from generation to generation. These joint owners (heirs) have the right to use the property, but none of them have a clear title.


The Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act establishes protections against problems arising from the inheritance of real property by family members where the deceased owners did not have a will by establishing remedies for use in those partition actions (meaning the division of land owned by cotenants) involving heirs property. The remedies are designed to help those who own heirs property as tenants in common to maintain ownership of their property when possible or to ensure at the very least that any court-ordered sale of the property is conducted under commercially reasonable circumstances that will protect the owners from losing substantial wealth upon the sale of their property.

Councilmember

​Vote (Yes, No, Absent)

Charles Allen ​

Yes

Anita Bonds

Yes

Mary M. Cheh

Yes

Janeese Lewis George

Yes

​Vincent C. Gray

Absent

Christina Henderson

Yes

​Kenyan R. McDuffie

Yes

Phil Mendelson

​Yes

​Brianne K. Nadeau

Yes

Brooke Pinto ​

Yes

Elissa Silverman

Yes

Robert C. White, Jr.

Yes

Trayon White, Sr.

Yes

B24-0507 - Elections Modernization Amendment Act of 2021


Elections Modernization Amendment Act of 2021 would require the Board of Elections to mail every voter a mail-in ballot with a postage prepaid envelope, and provide an alternative for voters with disabilities. It requires the Board to accept all ballots returned by mail no later than 10 days after the election and all ballots collected in ballot drop boxes by 8pm on election day. Among other things, it establishes a requirement for a specific number of drop boxes throughout the District and requires the Board to permit a voter to vote at any Vote Center.


In addition, the Elections Modernization Amendment Act of 2021 would also establish procedures to allow an individual in the care and custody of the Department of Corrections (DOC) to hold office as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (Commissioner). It allows candidates for an ANC seat to file electronic nominating petitions. Currently, only paper form submissions are allowed. The bill would also allow ANC candidates to sign their petition sheet supporting their candidacy.


B24-0507 would prohibit an elector’s ballot for President or Vice President from being accepted if the elector does not vote for the candidate of the party the elector has been elected to represent. It would also close District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) on Election Day to facilitate voting in its facilities. The bill would allow registered voters to vote at any Voting Center regardless of where they reside in the District.

Councilmember

​Vote (Yes, No, Absent)

Charles Allen ​

Yes

Anita Bonds

Yes

Mary M. Cheh

Yes

Janeese Lewis George

Yes

​Vincent C. Gray

Absent

Christina Henderson

Yes

​Kenyan R. McDuffie

Yes

Phil Mendelson

Yes

​Brianne K. Nadeau

Yes

Brooke Pinto ​

Yes

Elissa Silverman

Yes

Robert C. White, Jr.

Yes

Trayon White, Sr.

Yes

B24-0656 - Paternity Establishment Amendment Act of 2022

The Paternity Establishment Amendment Act of 2022 was recently analyzed by CLPA. For a full review of the bill, you can read it here. The bill, if enacted, would allow the Court to order DNA testing when requested, even if one has obtained a valid acknowledgment of paternity or when there is a prior judicial finding of paternity.

Councilmember

​Vote (Yes, No, Absent)

Charles Allen ​

Yes

Anita Bonds

Yes

Mary M. Cheh

Yes

Janeese Lewis George

Yes

​Vincent C. Gray

Absent

Christina Henderson

Yes

​Kenyan R. McDuffie

Yes

Phil Mendelson

Yes

​Brianne K. Nadeau

Yes

Brooke Pinto ​

Yes

Elissa Silverman

Yes

Robert C. White, Jr.

Yes

Trayon White, Sr.

Yes


B24-0300 - Local Resident Voting Rights Act of 2021


Current law states that voters in the District of Columbia need to be citizens of the United States to vote in local elections. The Local Resident Voting Rights Act would expand the definition of "qualified elector" to now allow "non-citizen" residents of the District to vote in local elections. Offices non-citizens would be able to vote for would be: Mayor, Chairman or member of the Council, Attorney General, Member of the State Board of Education, and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner. They would also be allowed to vote on initiatives, referendums, recalls, or charter amendment measures on a specific local election ballot.

Councilmember

​Vote (Yes, No, Absent)

Charles Allen ​

Yes

Anita Bonds

Yes

Mary M. Cheh

Yes

Janeese Lewis George

Yes

​Vincent C. Gray

Absent

Christina Henderson

Yes

​Kenyan R. McDuffie

Yes

​Phil Mendelson

Yes

Brianne K. Nadeau

Yes

Brooke Pinto ​

Yes

Elissa Silverman

Yes

Robert C. White, Jr.

Yes

Trayon White, Sr.

Yes


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