Early Voting and Election Day
Where and when do I vote in DC?
The 2022 General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. All registered voters will receive a mail ballot for the 2022 Primary Election, which will provide voters with several options for when and where they can vote.
Voters can choose to cast their vote by:
- Returning their mail ballot using USPS mail or a DCBOE Mail Ballot Drop Box (October 14th - November 8th, 2022)
- Voting in person at an Early Vote Center during the Early Voting period (October 31st - November 6th, 2022)
- Voting in person at a Vote Center on Election Day (November 8th, 2022)
- Voting using an Absentee Ballot ONLY if they will be away from their DC residence during the Primary Election (Absentee Ballots must be postmarked no later than November 8, 2022 and received by November 15th, 2022)
To find Early Vote Center, Election Day Vote Center, and Mail Ballot Drop Box locations near you, we encourage you to use our Vote Center Location Tool.
I returned my mail ballot/Absentee Ballot using USPS or a Mail Ballot Drop Box. How do I know if it was received and counted?
Voters who return their mail ballot or Absentee Ballot using USPS mail or Mail Ballot Drop Box voters can track the status of their ballot by using our Ballottrax tracker. Voters may also opt in to receive Ballottrax updates about their ballot via SMS text, email, or voice message.
Ballottrax is a secure application that works with DCBOE and the United States Postal Service to provide voters with information about the journey and status of their mail-in ballot or Absentee Ballot, from the time it is printed to the time it is accepted and counted by DCBOE. Ballottrax will also notify voters if there is a discrepancy with their ballot (such as a missing signature) that must be cured in order for their vote to count.
Learn more about Ballottrax and track the status of your mail ballot or Absentee Ballot HERE.
I received a letter informing me of an issue with my voted mail ballot. What is “curing” a ballot? What do I do?
If there is an issue with a voted mail ballot, the voter will receive a letter from DCBOE that specifies the problem with the ballot. The voter will have up to seven days to resolve the issue (cure the ballot).
The most frequent issues requiring a ballot to be cured:
- Signature mismatch. The signature on the ballot return envelope does not match what we have on file from the voter’s registration application, and/or a subsequent update to the registration application. (DCBOE recognizes that signatures can change over time and we account for that.)
- Missing signature. The voter forgot to sign their ballot return envelope.
In either of these circumstances, the voter can sign the certificate included with the initial letter and can return it by emailing it to [email protected]
or mailing/delivering it to DCBOE at 1015 Half Street, SE, #750, Washington, DC, 20003.
- Proof of residency required. Valid proof of District residency must be provided.
In this instance, the voter needs to provide valid proof of residency (see acceptable forms of proof here) by either emailing it to [email protected] or mailing/delivering it to DCBOE, at 1015 Half Street, SE, #750, Washington, DC, 20003, along with the signed certificate included with the initial letter.
DCBOE will accept information to cure a ballot up to seven days after the election. For the 2022 General Election, information to cure a ballot must be received at DCBOE no later than November 15, 2022 by the close of business (4:45 pm).
Do I have to vote at a specific location based on my home address?
If you wish to vote in person, you do not need to vote at a specific location based on your home address. Instead, you may vote at any Early Vote Center or Election Day Vote Center.
To find an Early Vote Center or Election Day Vote Center location near you, simply enter your address into our Vote Center Location Tool.
I received my ballot in the mail, but I would prefer to vote in person. What do I do with my mail-in ballot?
If you received a mail-in ballot but decide to vote in person during the Early Voting period or on Election Day, please write "Voting in Person" on the unopened mail-in ballot. You can then:
- Bring the unopened mail-in ballot to the Early Vote Center or Election Day Vote Center and surrender it to an Election Worker, or
- Drop the unopened mail-in ballot into any DCBOE mail ballot drop box
A new ballot will then be provided to you at the Early Vote Center/Election Day Vote Center.
Alternatively, you may complete your mail-in ballot at home and then return it to any Early Vote Center or Election Day Vote Center. You do not need to wait in line at the Early Vote Center or Election Day Vote Center when dropping off your completed mail-in ballot.
I did not receive a mail ballot. What should I do?
If you are a registered voter in the District of Columbia and you did not receive a mail ballot for the 2022 General Election by November 3, 2022, then you should plan to vote in person at an Early Vote Center or Election Day Vote Center.
You can find a Vote Center location near you using our Vote Center Location Tool
Can I request an Absentee Ballot?
You will ONLY need to request an Absentee Ballot if you will be away from your DC residence during the Primary Election.
Please note that Absentee Ballot Requests must be requested no later than 15 days before an election; for the 2022 General Election, this deadline falls on October 25, 2022.
If you need an Absentee Ballot, you may request one using our Absentee Ballot Request Form.
Can I get another Absentee Ballot if I lose the original?
Yes. Call our office immediately at (202) 727-2525 and one of our team members will mail you a new Absentee Ballot.
Make sure your voted and mailed Absentee Ballot is postmarked or otherwise demonstrated to have been sent on or before Election Day (November 8, 2022). Absentee Ballots must arrive no later than the 7th day after Election Day to be counted (November 15, 2022).
How do I get on the “Permanent Absentee Voter” list?
To be a Permanent Absentee Voter, simply check the appropriate box on the Absentee Ballot Request Form or send a written request to our office at 1015 Half Street, SE, Suite 750, Washington D.C. 20003.
Can I take a Sample Ballot or notes inside the voting booth with me?
Yes, you may bring a Sample Ballot or notes inside the voting booth for your reference. Please make sure that you do not leave the Sample Ballot or notes in the voting booth after you have finished voting. You can discard the Sample Ballot or notes in any recycling bin outside of the Early Vote Center or Election Day Vote Center.
Is there someone who can help me if I do not know what to do once I am at the Vote Center? Can my spouse/partner/child/friend/neighbor help me inside the voting booth?
Yes, you are welcome to bring a relative, friend, or neighbor to assist you if you are unsure of what to do at the Vote Center, or if you need assistance inside the voting booth. However, this person cannot be your employer, an election observer, or union representative. DCBOE Voter Assistance Clerks will also be on hand to help assist voters at every Early Voting Center and Election Day Vote Center.
English is not my first language. Are interpreters available at the Vote Centers?
DCBOE provides language access services for voters who are limited or non-English proficient (LEP/NEP). Under the Language Access Act of 2004, we are required to provide language assistance in Amharic (አማርኛ), Chinese (中文), French (Français), Korean (한국어), Spanish (Español) and Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt).
However, we also offer a full range of professional interpreting services via LanguageLine, more than 9,000 highly trained interpreters who are fluent in over 240 languages and American Sign Language Interpreters (ASL) for Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing constituents.
- Need help in your language? Call (202) 727-2525
- Amharic: በቋንቋዎት እርዳታ ማግኘት ይሻሉ? በስልክ ቁጥር (202) 727-2525 ይደውሉ።
- Chinese: 需要以您的语言帮助？拨打Call (202) 727-2525
- French: Avez-vous besoin d'aide dans votre langue ? Appelez le (202) 727-2525.
- Korean: 모국어로 도움이 필요하세요? (202) 727-2525로 전화해주세요
- Vietnamese: Cần sự trợ giúp ngôn ngữ của bạn? Hãy gọi (202) 727-2525
- Spanish: ¿Necesita ayuda en su idioma? Llame al (202) 727-2525
Will I need to present ID or proof of residence when voting in person?
Registered voters do not need to present identification or proof of residence to vote. However, we encourage you to take some form of identification with you to vote in case you need it.
If you plan to register in person during the Early Voting period or on Election Day, you will need to provide proof of residence in order to register and vote.
If this is your first time voting in DC and you did not provide proof of residence when registering, you will need to show proof of residence in order to cast a live (regular) ballot.
Acceptable forms of proof of residence include the following (must include the name and address of the voter):
- Valid District of Columbia DMV-issued ID
- Government check or paycheck*
- Bank statement*
- Current utility bill (does not include cell phone)*
- Student housing statement/tuition bill
- Homeless shelter occupancy statement
- Residential Lease
- Other current government document that shows your name and address
*The issue, bill, or statement date must be within 90 days of Election Day
Can I vote for someone who is not on the ballot?
Yes. To vote for a candidate who is not on the ballot, write the candidate's name next to “Write-in” on the ballot. Make sure to also fill in the oval next to “Write-in” in order for your vote to count.
What should I do if I make a mistake on my ballot?
If you are voting in person at an Early Vote Center or Election Day Vote Center and make a mistake on your ballot, notify an Election Worker immediately. They will cancel that ballot and provide you with a new ballot. You can use up to three (3) ballots (including your initial ballot) if you make any mistakes.
If you are voting with a mail-in ballot or Absentee Ballot and make a mistake, call our office immediately at (202) 727-2525 and one of our team members will mail you a new mail-in ballot or Absentee Ballot.
What is a Special Ballot (also known as a Provisional Ballot), and why would someone need to vote by Special Ballot?
If an individual whose eligibility to vote in the election cannot be determined at an Early Voting Center or at an Election Day Vote Center, they will be referred to a Ballot Clerk and will likely need to vote by Special Ballot. If the Board determines that the voter is eligible to vote in the election, their vote will be counted.
A voter may need to vote a Special Ballot if they:
- Return to an Early Vote Center or Election Day Vote Center after previously checking in to vote at an Early Vote Center or Election Day Vote Center
- Previously submitted an application for an Absentee Ballot
- Have already returned a voted Mail-In Ballot
- Are required to show identification or proof of residence to complete their voter registration, but fail to provide it
- During a Primary Election, claim a different party affiliation status than that which is reflected on their voter registration
- During a General Election, claim a different ANC/SMD than that which is reflected on their voter registration
- Have had a challenge to their eligibility to vote upheld by the Vote Center Coordinator or a Board hearing examiner
- Are voting during hours extended by either a Board or court order
While individuals who register same-day, change their address (with valid proof of residence), or change their name are also referred to the Ballot Clerk, they will be able to vote using a live (regular) ballot.
I had to vote a Special Ballot (also known as a Provisional Ballot). How do I find out whether it was counted? Will it be counted even if it doesn’t change to outcome of the election?
All Special Ballots that have been determined to be valid are counted even if they do not change the outcome of the election.
The day after Election Day, you may visit the Special Ballot Status page of our website, or call 1-866-DC VOTES (1-866-328-6837), to learn of the Board’s preliminary determination to either count or reject your Special Ballot.
If the Board rejects your Special Ballot, you may challenge this decision by scheduling an appeal hearing. Contact the Board at 202-727-2194 to schedule a time for your appeal hearing, which will be held on the Thursday after Election Day between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:45 PM. You may have a lawyer present or you may represent yourself. You should be prepared to present evidence to show that your Special Ballot should be counted.
If you do not win your appeal, you have one business day after the Board makes its final determination to appeal the decision to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.