When and where do I vote in DC?
DCBOE has nine Early Voting Centers (EVCs) throughout the District of Columbia. Early Voting for the June 19, 2018 Primary Election is June 4-15, 2018*, including Sunday. Early Voting for the November 6, 2018 General Election is October 22-November 2, 2018*, including Sunday. You can register and/or vote at ANY EVC, regardless of your District address. For a list of EVC locations, visit www.dcboe.org/Voters/Where-to-Vote/Vote-Early-(Find-a-Center). Hours are 8:30 am-7:00 pm.
To vote on Election Day, make sure to go to the polling place assigned to your CURRENT District address. Polls are open 7:00 am-8:00pm.
D.C. also offers an absentee option. To vote absentee, complete and return the Absentee Ballot Application at www.dcboe.org/dcboe/media/PDFFiles/AbsenteeBallotRequestForm.pdf no later than seven days prior to Election Day. Completed mail ballots must arrive at DCBOE’s office no later than 8:00 pm on Election Day. Absentee Ballots can also be dropped off at any Early Voting Center or Election Day polling place.
I recently moved within the District. Am I allowed to vote at the polling place closest to me?
You MUST vote at the polling place assigned to your NEW/CURRENT address on Election Day. Remember to bring proof of your new address with you.
Why has my polling place changed?
Polling place locations typically change due to construction or renovation at a polling site, limited space, or inaccessibility for voters with disabilities. In other cases, site managers at some locations may no longer want to have their venue utilized as a polling place.
All voters within affected precincts are notified by mail several weeks prior to the change of venue. To see if your polling place has changed, visit https://www.vote4dc.com/SearchElection/SearchByAddress.
Can I take a Sample Ballot or notes inside the voting booth with me?
Yes. Just make sure not to leave the Sample Ballot or notes in the voting booth after you have finished voting. You can throw the Sample Ballot or notes away in any trash/recycling bin outside of the polling place.
Is there someone who can help me if I do not know what to do once I am at the polling place? Can my spouse/partner/child/friend/neighbor help me inside the voting booth?
Yes. Feel free to bring a relative, friend, or neighbor to assist you, as long as they’re not your employer, an election observer, or union representative. DCBOE Voter Assistance Clerks will also be on hand to help at every Early Voting Center and Election Day polling place.
English is not my first language. Are interpreters available at the polling place?
Spanish, Mandarin, and American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters are available at specific polling places in the District. If none are available at your polling place and/or you do not speak Spanish, Mandarin, or ASL, an Election Day Worker will call our Language Assistance Line for you. An interpreter will be on the other end to help.
Will I need to present an ID (proof of residence) prior to voting on Election Day?
Registered voters do not need to present proof of residence to vote, however some polling places require ID to enter the facility. It is therefore encouraged that you take some form of identification with you to vote.
If you will be registering during the Early Voting period or at the polls on Election Day, you will need to provide proof of residence in order to register and vote. If you are a first-time voter who registered by mail and 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):
Can I vote for someone who is not on the ballot?
Yes. Write the candidate's name next to “Write-in” on the ballot. Make sure to also circle-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?
Notify an Election Day Worker immediately. They will cancel that ballot and provide you with a new ballot. You can use up to three ballots (including your initial ballot) if you make any mistakes.
What is a Special Ballot?
If an individual whose eligibility to vote in the election cannot be determined at an Early Voting Center or at the polls on Election Day, they may vote by Special Ballot. Once the Board determines they are eligible to vote in this election, their vote will be counted.
Why would someone need to vote by Special Ballot?
A person would have to vote a Special Ballot if they:
Individuals who register same-day, change their address (with valid proof of residence), or change their name are referred to the Special Ballot Clerk, but will be able to vote a live (regular) ballot.
I had to vote a Special Ballot and want to make sure it was counted. Who do I contact to find out?
At 5:00 pm on the day after each election, you can go to the Board’s website, www.dcboe.org, 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 necessary, you may challenge the Board’s decision not to count your Special Ballot by scheduling a hearing that will take place on the Thursday after Election Day.
How are Special Ballots counted? Are they counted even if they do not change the election results?
All Special Ballots that have been determined to be valid are counted even if they do not change the outcome of the election.
How do I request an Absentee Ballot?
You can request an Absentee Ballot by completing the form located here. Once you have completed the form, print and sign it, and return it to the Board by mail or fax. All mailed or faxed Absentee Ballot Applications must be received no later than seven days before an election.
You may also request and vote an Absentee Ballot in-person at the Board’s Office, starting approximately 15 days before an election until the day before an election.
Can I get another Absentee Ballot if I lose the original or make a mistake?
Yes. Call our office immediately at (202) 727-2525 and one of our team members will mail another one to you. Make sure your completed ballot is returned to our office by 8:00 pm on Election Day.
I changed my mind, I would rather vote at an Early Voting Center or on Election Day. Can I do that?
Yes. Simply go to any Early Voting Center OR your assigned polling place on Election Day. If your Absentee Ballot has not been received by our office, you will be required to vote by Special Ballot.
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 Application or send a written request to our office at 1015 Half Street, SE, Suite 750, Washington DC 20003.
I want to file an Initiative to appear on the ballot. What do I need to do?
Any registered voter in the District of Columbia may seek either to propose a law by placing an Initiative measure on the ballot, or to suspend an act of the Council by placing a Referendum measure on the ballot. The process has several steps, which are defined by law. For a complete account, see DC Official Code §§ 1-204.101 through 1-204.106 and 1-1001.16. For more information on the initiative process and other legal inquiries, please call the Board’s Office of the General Counsel at (202) 727-2194.