Nine Districts Appears Headed to the Ballot

By Adam Pagnucco.

Multiple sources confirm that Kevin Karpinski, counsel to the Montgomery County Board of Elections, told the board yesterday that the charter amendment petition to convert the Montgomery County Council to a nine district configuration has received enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. The threshold is 10,000 signatures or 20% of the registered voters of the county. Nine Districts for MoCo submitted 16,448 signatures on August 3.

Margaret Jurgensen, the county’s election director, told me, “Mr. Karpinski did confirm that it appears that the Petition has succeeded garnering the number of valid petitions.”

The board still needs to complete its verification process and release a formal determination, which should occur later in the week. Once it does so, the county attorney must draft language for the ballot. At that point, only one thing could stop the question from appearing on the ballot: litigation, which has happened before. In 2016, a group opposing Robin Ficker’s term limits petition tried to get it thrown out in court over signature issues but was unsuccessful. I have heard of no such entity willing to challenge Nine Districts’ signatures.

That means Nine Districts could be officially headed to the ballot within days.