District of Columbia Elections

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Your State

Upcoming Elections

2016 Presidential Preference: March 12 for the Republican caucus; June 14 for the Democratic primary

  • Voter Registration Deadlines: January 1 for Republicans; May 23 for Democrats

Please note caucuses have specific rules. Contact your local state party for more information.

2016 Congressional/State Primary: June 14

  • Voter Registration Deadline: May 23

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: October 17

For more information, visit the District of Columbia Election website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.


More state specific election info below.

Voting Rights

News

Judge OKs voter registration rules in 3 states for now
06/30/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 17:30
Excerpt: 

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon sided against a coalition of voting rights groups that sued a U.S. elections official who changed the proof-of-citizenship requirements on the federal registration form at the request of [Kansas, Georgia and Alabama] and without public notice. Residents of other states only need to swear that they are citizens, not show proof.

Leon refused to issue a temporary injunction sought by voting rights advocates to overturn the move by Brian Newby, the executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, until the case can be decided on its merits at trial. No trial date has been set. ...

Newby took the top job in November at a government agency entrusted with making voting more accessible, then months later used the federal position to implement the obstacle to voter registration in three states.

Wisconsin and Minnesota are case studies in the difference between Republican and Democratic rule
06/30/16 |
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 - 07:00
Excerpt: 

On April 5, the day of Wisconsin’s presidential primary, Anita Johnson picked up Dennis Hatten at his new apartment in West Milwaukee and took him to the polls. “We’re going to complete your journey and make sure you vote today,” Johnson told him.

Simply being able to vote in Wisconsin was no small feat for Hatten, a 53-year-old former Marine. He’d met Johnson, a 70-year-old Wisconsin coordinator for VoteRiders, in August 2015, as the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. Hatten was living in temporary housing for homeless veterans across the street from Milwaukee’s VA hospital. Wisconsin’s strict new voter-ID law would be going into effect in 2016, and Johnson was part of the effort to help 300,000 registered voters without an acceptable government-issued ID obtain one—9 percent of the electorate. ...

It took Johnson six months to get Hatten a state photo ID because, like many African Americans born in the Jim Crow South, he didn’t have a birth certificate, and the DMV rejected his initial application. He took his new ID to the polls, but the address on it didn’t match his new address, which the poll workers needed to register him at the site (Wisconsin is one of 14 states with Election Day registration). While Hatten conferred with the poll worker, another man who tried to register with his veterans’ ID was turned away.

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Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

District of Columbia Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 Presidential Preference: March 12 for the Republican caucus; June 14 for the Democratic primary

  • Voter Registration Deadlines: January 1 for Republicans; May 23 for Democrats

Please note caucuses have specific rules. Contact your local state party for more information.

2016 Congressional/State Primary: June 14

  • Voter Registration Deadline: May 23

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: October 17

For more information, visit the District of Columbia Election website.

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

Polling Place Hours: 7am to 8pm

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Visit the Polling Place locator on the District of Columbia's Election website.

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines

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

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Visit the District of Columbia's Election website or visit the District of Columbia’s Board of Elections’ Mobile App.

Registration Eligability

In order to register to vote in Washington, D.C., you must:

  • Be a United States Citizen;
  • Be a resident of the District of Columbia;
  • Be at least 16 years old*;
  • Not be in jail on a felony conviction;
  • Not have been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote; and
  • Not claim voting residence outside of the District of Columbia.

*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:

  • A copy of a current driver’s license or other government photo ID which shows your name and address, or
  • A copy of a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government document which shows your name and address.

How to Register

Online

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:

  • Department of Motor Vehicles;
  • Department of Corrections;
  • Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services;
  • Office of Aging;
  • Department of Parks and Recreation; and
  • Department of Human Services.

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:

  • A copy of a current driver’s license or other government photo ID which shows your name and address, or
  • A copy of a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government document which shows your name and address.

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:

  • A copy of a current driver’s license or other government photo ID which shows your name and address, or
  • A copy of a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government document which shows your name and address.

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:

  • A copy of a current driver’s license or other government photo ID which shows your name and address, or
  • A copy of a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government document which shows your name and address.

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:

  • A copy of a current driver’s license or other government photo ID which shows your name and address, or
  • A copy of a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government document which shows your name and address.

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:

  • A copy of a current driver’s license or other government photo ID which shows your name and address, or
  • A copy of a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government document which shows your name and address. 

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.

Voters are able to sign and send the application for the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) using the Elections website or the mobile app

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.

**The materials below have not been updated since 2014**

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, visit the National Disability Rights Network’s voting resource center.

For more information for student voters, visit the District of Columbia Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

2016 Election Information for your state