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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Irene Ly: This week’s best and worst

Irene Ly, a junior majoring in psychology, is The Hatchet’s contributing opinions editor.

In case you missed it, here’s the best and worst news from around campus and the District this week.

Thumbs up:

If the commute to your summer internship has got you down, Metro just got a little more money to make sure the system’s SafeTrack plan runs smoothly.

The Federal Transit Administration announced it would grant Metro $20 million to support four projects that are part of SafeTrack, according to the Washington City Paper. The $20 million funds for Metro safety projects were withheld by the FTA earlier this year, even after Metro made plans to use the funds for rail station renovations and updates to fare collection.

According to Metro officials, SafeTrack is expected to cost about $60 million to complete, which the $20 million from the FTA will go toward. That’s $20 million Metro does not need to pay through short-term borrowing, which was how officials originally planned to offset additional costs.

The extra funds from the FTA will make sure SafeTrack goes as planned, but will lessen the expected negative revenue impact on Metro’s operating budget.

We will have to wait and see whether the huge Metro overhaul will actually improve the system, but the FTA’s $20 million should make SafeTrack’s schedule possible. Until then, keep hanging in there on those crowded trains.  

Thumbs down:

Some D.C. voters were not able to vote in the Democratic primary Tuesday.

An unknown number of people got to the polls to discover that their party affiliations had been changed without their authorization. Although there is no estimate yet, D.C. Council member David Grosso tweeted he was “getting lots of reports.”

Some voters also had their registrations changed to “N-P,” meaning no party. Since the District has closed primaries, voters must be registered as members of the Democratic, Republican or D.C. Statehood Green parties to vote in their respective primaries.

The problem seems to be rooted in a technical glitch in the board’s new mobile app, according to Terri Stroud, the acting executive director of the D.C. Board of Elections. The app allows people to update their voter registration information.

Although some voters were able to find out about the unauthorized party affiliation change and switch it back before Tuesday, others did not find out until they arrived at their polling locations.

Voters who believe they have been affected can still cast a special ballot, which will be counted Friday. While it is not known how many people have been affected by the glitch, the board will have a better idea of the scale of this incident when special ballots are counted.

These problems could mark the second year in a row that a technical issue affected a citywide election.

It may turn out that not many people were impacted by the glitch. However, such news may further frustrate D.C. residents, who already felt like their votes were meaningless, as presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had already secured enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination a week before the D.C. primary.

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