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How to vote in The District of Columbia

Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. The District of Columbia will mail all active registered voters a mail-in ballot at their registered address beginning the first week in October. You can also vote in person. The District of Columbia offers early voting.

Who can vote

To vote in the District of Columbia you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a be a resident of the District of Columbia
  • maintain residency in the District of Columbia for at least 30 days prior to the election in which you intend to vote
  • not claim voting residence or the right to vote in another U.S. state or territory
  • be at least 17 years old (You may register to vote if you are at least 16 years old. You may vote in a primary election if you are at least 17 years old and you will be at least 18 years old by the next general election. You may vote in a general or special election if you are at least 18 years old).
  • not be in jail for a felony conviction
  • not have been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote
  • *find more information on voting rights restoration here

Vote in person

Vote on election day

Voters registered in The District of Columbia can look up where to vote on The District of Columbia's site.

Vote early

The District of Columbia voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 27, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.

In-person absentee voting is available 15 days prior to an election, while early voting is available 7 days prior to an election.

What to bring

  • If you've voted in DC before, you don't need to provide ID to vote. Some polling locations may require ID for you to enter the facility, however.
  • If you're a first-time voter who registered by mail, and didn't provide proof of residence when registering, you will need to show proof of residence to vote. Acceptable forms include: a current and valid government-issued photo ID; or a current utility bill (does not include cell phone bill) issued within 90 days of Election Day, bank statement issued within 90 days of Election Day, government check issued within 90 days of Election Day, paycheck, lease or rental agreement, university housing or tuition bill, or another government document that shows your name and address.
  • Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote a special ballot. You have two days following the election to show ID to the Board of Elections.

Vote by mail

  1. The District of Columbia will mail all active registered voters a mail-in ballot at their registered address beginning the first week in October. If you need your ballot mailed to an address other than where you're currently registered, you will need to request your mail-in ballot with a mail ballot application.
  2. When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.

See what's on the ballot

Learn more about what will be on your ballot by visiting the Ballotpedia.

Get step-by-step help

TurboVote can help you start the absentee/mail-in ballot request process, send you election reminders, and more. If you’d like more help planning how to vote, we can walk you through the process!

Election Day registration

The District of Columbia does offer registration on Election Day.

Military and overseas voters

Active-duty military, their families, and overseas citizens can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). To do so:

  1. Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
  2. Send the application to your election official.
  3. It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
  4. Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Following are recommended return dates to make sure your ballot arrives at your election office on time:35 days before election - On a ship at sea: September 28, 202030 days before election - Outside of the US: October 2, 202011 days before the election - Stateside: October 23, 2020
  5. States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven't received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office.

If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:

  • You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
  • If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program – FVAP.gov offers additional information on military and overseas voting in The District of Columbia. You can also call 1-800-438-VOTE or email vote@fvap.gov

Check your voter registration status

You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using The District of Columbia's voter registration lookup tool.

Dates and deadlines

  • Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
  • The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (received by) Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
  • The deadline to register in person to vote is Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
  • The early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 27, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
  • You can also register and vote on Election Day.

Election contact information for The District of Columbia

Address:
Board of Elections
1015 Half Street SE Suite 750
Washington, DC 20003

Phone Number:
(202) 727-2525

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