Voter Registration List Maintenance
The Inactive Voter List
As part of the canvass process, DCBOE creates and publishes an inactive voter list, which is a list of District of Columbia’s voters that have met certain criteria and can be removed from the District of Columbia’s voter roll, in accordance with the law. While a public notice of removal from the voter roll is not required, DCBOE publishes this list to encourage individuals to update their voter registration if they are still eligible to vote in the District of Columbia.
The Voter List
In order to understand the challenges of maintaining an accurate voter list, it is important to know what a voter list is and how it is used. When you register to vote, the information on the form is entered into our database. This data identifies you as a qualified voter, eligible to vote in federal and DC elections according to your residence and party affiliation.
Challenges of Maintaining an Accurate Voter List
It is important to note that the population mobility in the District of Columbia is, according to Census data, one of the highest in the United States, and while most residents moving, notify their banks, cable companies, family and friends – even newspaper subscriptions, they rarely change their voter registration.
Our List Maintenance Processes
During the past few years we have focused on improving the process of maintaining our voter registration list by using data from secure, highly reliable sources such are the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and National Change of Address (NCOA) updates.
No more than 90 days before a major election, we update our voter records using National Change of Address (NCOA) records. Our entire voter list is compared to the National Change of Address database, and voters' addresses are updated accordingly. This includes voters who have moved within the District of Columbia. A postcard is sent to each affected voter for verification. However, this data is only useful if the voter fills out a change of address card through the post office.
Undeliverable mail, such as mail ballots, is used to update the voter registration database. If a new address is provided, our database is updated accordingly.
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Records
Address updates are provided daily by the DMV, and immediately applied by our office.
Voters Moving Out of the District of Columbia
Our office is notified by the Registrar of Voters’ offices of voters who have re-registered in other locations. These registrations are cancelled by our office upon notification.