Information below last updated in Fall 2014. Please check back soon for 2015 registration dates and election information.
There is no districtwide election in 2015, but local elections may be held. The city of Washington, D.C. will hold a special election for city council on April 28, 2015 (more information here).
For more information, visit the District of Columbia Election website.
DC voters can take advantage of same-day registration, which allows them to register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day.
Polling Place Hours: 7am to 8pm
The voter registration deadline for the April 28 Special Election is April 21, 2015.
Your emailed application must be received by the 30th day, and your mailed application must be postmarked by the 30th day prior to an election for you to be eligible to cast a ballot; after that date, you can only register to vote in person. There is no registration deadline in person, you may register and cast a special ballot on Election Day.
How to check if you are registered
In order to register to vote in Washington, D.C., you must:
*Residents can preregister to vote at the age of 16 but won’t receive a voter registration card or be eligible to vote until they are at least 17 years old with an 18th birth day on or before the next general election.
Identification Required for Registration
Identification is not required for voters registering in person to vote in the District of Columbia, but voters who have not provided identification at the time of registration are required to do so at the polling place. If you are registering using during the early voting period or at the polls on Election Day you must bring acceptable proof of residence. This can include any of the following:
How to Register
Registrations completed through the Election Mobile App can be signed and submitted through your mobile phone or tablet.
Registration can also be completed on any computer by visiting the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics Website here.
In-Person or by Mail
To register by mail, you can complete and mail a paper voter registration application. Applications must be postmarked at least 30 days before an election. Applications should be mailed to:
D.C. Board of Elections
One Judiciary Square
441 4th Street, N.W., Suite 250 North
Washington, DC 20001
You can also register to vote in person at the D.C. Board of Elections’ Office at the address listed above. There is no registration deadline when you register in-person at the Elections’ office. For more information on the office location: click here.
You can also register to vote at any voter registration agency. These include:
An application completed at any of these agencies must be filled out prior to 30 days before an election.
Same Day and Election Day Voter Registration
DC allows voters to register vote and cast a special ballot on the same day during the early vote period and on Election Day.
You will need to complete a voter registration application, swear or affirm that you are a qualified elector, and provide valid proof of residence at your early voting site or polling location.
You must also show valid proof of residence which can be:
If You Want to Vote Early
Voters can vote early in person. Check this list for finding locations that are early voting sites for the 2015 Special Election for Wards 4 and 8. Early Voting for the 2015 Special Election begins on Monday, April 13th at One Judiciary Square. Early Voting Center hours are from 8:30 AM to 7:00 PM.
The early voting period begins approximately 15 days before an election.
If You Want to Vote Absentee
A registered voter may vote by absentee ballot, by mail or in person, for any reason.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is April 21, 2015. Your signed application must be received by the District of Columbia Board of Elections Office by April 21, 2015 in order to be processed.
Absentee ballot applications must be received by the Tuesday before Election Day. Voted absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received within 10 days of Election Day in order to be counted.
If you are voting for the first time in DC and registered to vote by mail, without providing identification when registering, you must include a copy of your ID with your absentee ballot application. The following are acceptable forms of identification:
Absentee ballot applications must be received by the Tuesday before Election Day. Completed absentee ballots must be postmarked by the Election Day and received within 10 days of the Election Day.
Click here to request an absentee ballot.
Identification requirements to register to vote
In order to register by mail you must have either a Driver's license number or a DMV-issued ID number or a social security number. If you are registered to vote for the first time by mail you will additionally need to include a copy of one of the following:
Voters who have not provided identification at the time of registration are required to do so at the polling place. If you are registering using during the early voting period or at the polls on Election Day, you must bring acceptable proof of residence. This can include any of the following:
Identification requirements to cast a ballot
D.C. election law currently does not require voters to present identification when voting in person except for certain first-time voters who did not present ID when registering to vote. For requirements, see above.
For absentee voters: If you are voting for the first time in DC and registered to vote by mail, without providing identification when registering, you must include a copy of your ID with your absentee ballot application. The following are acceptable forms of identification:
Voters who have moved within DC must vote at the polling place of their new residence. If they were registered at their previous address, they may vote by special ballot at the polling place for their new residence, and establish identity and current residence at the time of voting.
Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) Washington DC-specific FPCA page.
Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email. If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA. Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP’s Washington DC-specific FPCA page.
Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it by the 7:00 p.m., Election Day deadline. The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write-in their choices. The FWAB may also be used to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step. If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by the voter registration deadline. For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's Washington DC-specific FWAB page.
In DC, a voter who is released from incarceration for a felony has his or her right to vote automatically restored upon release from confinement, however, the individual must re-register to vote. Registration DOES NOT occur automatically upon release from confinement. Individuals who are confined for non-felony offenses may vote by absentee ballot.
For more information, go to the Board of Elections and Ethics website.
For more information for voters with mental disabilities, visit The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and National Disability Rights Network’s document: “Voting Rights Guide for People with Mental Disabilities.”
Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights
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