Candidate Ballot Access Information


Ballot Access for the November 3, 2020 General Election

Due to public health emergency concerns, our office will be providing and accepting candidate filings by email, mail, or in-person (by appointment only by emailing [email protected] – walk-ins will not be accepted).

Please follow the steps below to file your direct access paperwork. If you have any questions, the Voter Services division is ready to assist. Please email us at [email protected] or call 202-727-2525 with any questions you may have about your filing.

Petitions for the November 3, 2020 General Election will be available on this page from June 12, 2020 through August 5, 2020. They are due, along with all other required candidate filing documentation, on August 5, 2020 by 5:00 pm.  Please contact the Voter Services division if you have any questions about this process.

2020 Quick Reference: Guide to Ballot Access

Nominating petitions for each office are available below. Please follow these steps to prepare your petition:

Step 1: Candidate/designee will download the nominating petition for the office sought.

Step 2: Candidate/designee will save the file to their computer.

Step 3: Candidate/designee will fill in the candidate’s information where required.

Step 4: After the candidate/designee completes their information, they will save the file again to their computer.

Step 5: The saved petition with the candidate’s information can then be provided to qualified petition circulators for circulation so that the required number of signatures for the office sought may be collected.

The qualified petition circulator can return the signed petition(s) to the candidate/designee in person, by mail, or electronically. The candidate/designee can then submit the entire petition to the Board of Elections. The candidate/designee MUST retain a hard copy of the complete petition.

Either the Candidate or their designee must complete and submit the Statement of Candidate (or Candidate's Agent) and the Receipt of Ballot Access Documents forms to the Board of Elections before they can be issued a nominating petition. 

The notary requirement on all forms are waived for the 2020 election cycle.

Elector of President of the United States
Delegate to the House of Representatives from the District of Columbia
At-Large Member of the Council
Ward Member of the Council
United States Senator
United States Representative
At-Large Member of the State Board of Education
Ward Member of the State Board of Education
Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner

  • Each of the additional documents required for submission may be completed and saved using the same steps outlined above for nominating petitions.
  • Declaration of Candidacy – The candidate’s name will appear on the ballot as it appears on the Declaration of Candidacy. The Declaration must be signed by the candidate.  It may not be signed by anyone else.
  • Receipt of Ballot Access Documents - This document is for the candidate to check and certify that they have received the documents in Section III. The candidate/designee completes, signs, and dates this form, and returns it to the Board of Elections in person (by appointment), by mail, or by email at [email protected].  Once received, a Board staff member will respond via email to acknowledge receipt and provide a copy to the candidate/designee.  
Tips for Filing your Nominating Petition
  • It is the candidate’s responsibility to review all signatures prior to submission to the Board of Elections. Board staff is not responsible for checking the signatures for campaigns.
  • Make sure the “Affidavit of Circulator” on each petition page is completed and signed.
  • Before filing, all petition sheets which comprise the entire nominating petitions must be serially numbered and assembled.
  • While not required, filing the minimum number of signatures before the last day can be very helpful.  If a document is missing or an error made, there is still time to file the missing document or to correct the error before the deadline.
  • Once the initial petition that meets the minimum signature requirement has been filed, supplemental petition sheets may be filed until 5:00 pm on the last day for filing.
  • If you file in person by appointment, you must come prepared to file – you will not be permitted to prepare to file in the Board’s offices.
Informational Documentation
We strongly encourage candidates to download and review the documents in this section before filing their ballot access documents.
How to submit your candidate filing:

You may submit your filing in one of the following ways:

  • By email to [email protected]
  • By mail or in person by appointment to:
    D.C. Board of Elections
    1015 Half Street, SE, Suite 750
    Washington, DC 20003-4733

Please contact us at 202-727-2525 or [email protected] with any questions.  If you would like to request reasonable accommodation or review this document in an alternative format, please contact the Board’s American with Disability Act (ADA) Coordinator at (202) 253-1741.

Poll Watchers and Election Observers

Any person wishing to observe the administration of the election at the polling place or at the Board’s Counting Center on Election Day may petition the Board for credentials as an Election Observer or Poll Watcher. Petitions for credentials should be submitted to the Board at least two weeks before Election Day.

The information in this online guide is subject to change. For the latest information, see the Newsroom or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. In the event of a conflict with information contained in this guide, in the Official Calendar, or on our website, the laws and the regulations of the District of Columbia will apply.