District of Columbia

Upcoming Elections

2024-10-15 – Registration Deadline (Received by)

Received by Tue Oct 15, 2024

2024-10-21 – Ballot Request Deadline (Received by)

Received by Mon Oct 21, 2024

2024-10-24 – Early Voting

From Thu Oct 24, 2024 to Mon Nov 4, 2024

2024-11-05 – Registration Deadline (Election Day Registration & Voting)

Election Day Registration & Voting Tue Nov 5, 2024

2024-11-12 – Ballot Return Deadline (Postmarked by ED + Post received by)

Postmarked On or Before Election Day and Received by Tue Nov 12, 2024

Last updated: April 2024

Voting in Washington, D.C.

When You Can Vote

Election day: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day (June 4, 2024).

Early Voting: All voters receive a mail ballot. Voters can also vote early, either in-person, or by mail. Currently the early voting period is from Sunday, May 26, 2024 through Sunday, June 2, 2024 (but closed on Monday, May 27, 2024 for Memorial Day). Early Vote Centers are open every day during this period from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Where You Can Vote

Voters are not required to vote at a specific polling location.  Voters may vote at any Early Vote Center or Election Day Vote Center. Use this link to locate the closest mail-in ballot drop box, Early Vote Center, or Election Day Vote Center: https://www.dcboe.org/voters/find-out-where-to-vote/vote-center-locator-tool

Registering to Vote

Registration Deadlines

  • For registration deadlines, see How to Register below.

How to Check Your Registration: Voters can determine whether they are registered to vote at the following link: Am I Registered?.

You are eligible to vote in District of Columbia if you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen
  • Are at least 18 years old by Election Day
  • Have been a state resident for at least 30 days prior to the election

You must live in district at least 30 days to be eligible to vote. You may vote in a primary at age 17 if you will be 18 by the date of the General Election

You are NOT eligible to vote in District of Columbia if:

  • You are registered to vote in another state
  • A judge has specifically ruled that you are not able to vote.

After a 2020 change, people who are incarcerated for any reason can now always vote in Washington, D.C.

You may preregister to vote in District of Columbia

  • At the age 16

How to register 

  • District of Columbia General Election
    • Submit an Application: Received by Tue Oct 15, 2024
    • In Person: Election Day Registration & Voting Tue Nov 5, 2024

REGISTERING TO VOTE

To register to vote in DC, a person must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Be a D.C. resident for at least 30 days immediately prior to the election
  • Not claim voting residence or the right to vote in another U.S. state or territory
  • Be at least 16 years old (however, to vote in a primary, the registered voter must be at least 18 years old by the upcoming general election)
  • Not have been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote

There are three ways to register to vote: (1) online, (2) by mail, email, or fax, or (3) in person

https://www.dcboe.org/voters/register-to-vote/register-update-voter-registration and submit by:

  • By Mail: D.C. Board of Elections at 1015 Half Street, SE, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20003.
  • By email: DCRegistrations@dcboe.org 
  • By fax: (202) 347-2648

In person: visit the D.C. Board of Elections at 1015 Half Street, SE, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20003.

Registering in person during early voting or on election day: If a voter is planning to register in person during the early voting period or on Election Day, they will need to provide proof of residence that shows their name and current D.C. address. Acceptable forms of proof of residence include: 

  • Current and valid government-issued photo identification
  • Utility bill for water, gas, electricity, cable, internet, telephone, or cellular phone service issued no earlier than 90 days before the election
  • Savings, checking, credit, or money market account statement from a bank or credit union issued no earlier than 90 days before the election
  • Paycheck, stub, or earning statement that includes the employer’s name, address, and telephone number and was issued no earlier than 90 days before the election
  • Government-issued document or check from a federal or District agency, other than the Board of Elections, issued no earlier than 90 days before the election
  • Current residential lease or rental agreement
  • Occupancy statement from a District homeless shelter issued no earlier than 90 days before the election
  • Tuition or housing bill from a District of Columbia college or university issued for the current academic or housing term

Early Voting & by Absentee Ballot

If You Want to Vote Absentee, requests may be made:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail
  • By Email
  • Online

Absentee Ballots may be returned:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail
  • By Fax
  • By Email
District of Columbia General Election

Ballot Request:

  • Received by Mon Oct 21, 2024

Ballot Return:

  • Postmarked On or Before Election Day and Received by Tue Nov 12, 2024

All registered D.C. voters will automatically be mailed a ballot to their D.C. residence. Voters only need to request an absentee ballot if they are going to be away from their D.C. residence during the voting period, in which case the absentee ballot will be mailed to their non-D.C. residence

Requests for absentee mail-in ballots must be received no later than the 15th day before each election (i.e., by Monday, May 20, 2024): https://www.dcboe.org/voters/casting-your-vote/mail-ballot-request.

All registered D.C. voters should receive a ballot by mail in advance of the election, or they can use an early voting center. To ensure that a voter receives their mail-in ballot at the correct address, they should confirm their voter registration status and update their address as needed at https://www.dcboe.org/voters/register-to-vote/register-update-voter-registration.

Voters can drop of their mail ballots at mail Use this link to locate the closest mail-in ballot drop box, Early Vote Center, or Election Day Vote Center: https://www.dcboe.org/voters/find-out-where-to-vote/vote-center-locator-tool 

Identification Requirements

Voter Registration

To register to vote in District of Columbia you should provide one of the following:

  • Last Four Digits of your Social Security Number
  • Your District of Columbia Driver’s License or State non-driver ID Number

If you are registering to vote for the first time by mail, you will need to provide a copy of a valid ID. Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • Current and Valid Photo ID
  • Utility Bill, Bank Statement, Government Check, or Paycheck that Shows your current name and address
  • Government Issued Document that shows your current name and address

You can alternatively show one of these documents when you vote to complete your registration.

Voting In-Person

If you registered to vote in District of Columbia, you may be required to present valid ID if you are voting for the first time or your registration is incomplete. You can use any ID from this list:

  • Paycheck that shows your Current Name and Address
  • Utility Bill
  • Bank Statement
  • Valid District of Columbia Driver’s License
  • Valid District of Columbia Non-driver’s ID
  • Government Check
  • Government Issued Document that shows your Current Name and Address
  • University Tuition Bill
  • University Housing Bill
  • Lease
  • Letter from a homeless organization verifying your residence location for purposes of voter registration

Statements, checks and bills should be dated no earlier than 90 days before Election Day. School documents must be from a DC institution.

IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Registered voters: do not need to present identification or proof of residence to vote. However, voters are encouraged to take some form of identification with them to vote in case it is needed.

Registering in person during early voting or on election day: If a voter is planning to register in person during the early voting period or on Election Day, they will need to provide proof of residence that shows their name and current D.C. address. Acceptable forms of proof of residence include: 

  • Current and valid government-issued photo identification
  • Utility bill for water, gas, electricity, cable, internet, telephone, or cellular phone service issued no earlier than 90 days before the election
  • Savings, checking, credit, or money market account statement from a bank or credit union issued no earlier than 90 days before the election
  • Paycheck, stub, or earning statement that includes the employer’s name, address, and telephone number and was issued no earlier than 90 days before the election
  • Government-issued document or check from a federal or District agency, other than the Board of Elections, issued no earlier than 90 days before the election
  • Current residential lease or rental agreement
  • Occupancy statement from a District homeless shelter issued no earlier than 90 days before the election
  • Tuition or housing bill from a District of Columbia college or university issued for the current academic or housing term

If first time voting and did not provide ID when registering: If this is a voter’s first time voting in D.C. and they did not provide proof of residence when registering, they will need to show one of the above proofs of residence to cast a live (regular) ballot.
Special Ballot If a voter does not provide an acceptable proof of residence, they will be required to vote a Special Ballot and will have until 5:00 pm on the Thursday following Election Day to present acceptable proof of residence to the Board in order to have your Special Ballot counted.

If You Have Moved Within Your State

Voters who have moved within D.C. may vote at any vote center.  They can update their address at the vote center by providing acceptable proof of residence. In addition, to ensure that voters receive their mail-in ballot at the correct address, they should review and update their voter registration at the Register/Update Voter Registration page: https://www.dcboe.org/voters/register-to-vote/register-update-voter-registration.  

The deadline to register for mail ballots is for the primary election May 20, 2024.  There are no registration deadlines for in-person voting.
D.C. voters who expect to be away from their D.C. residence during the election must request an Absentee Ballot. Visit https://www.dcboe.org/voters/casting-your-vote/mail-ballot-request to request a ballot.

If You Are in the Military or are an Overseas Voter

Voting Military

Service members and their dependents may register and request a ballot using the federal voter registration/ballot request form (“FPCA”). You will have the following identification options when completing the form:

  • U.S. State or Territory or District Issued ID
  • Option to Indicate that you do not have the Requested ID
  • Last 4 Digits of your Social Security Number

Voting Overseas

U.S. citizens living overseas may register and request a ballot using the overseas voter registration/ballot request form. You will have the following identification options when completing the form:

  • U.S. State or Territory or District Issued ID
  • Option to Indicate that you do not have the Requested ID
  • Last 4 Digits of your Social Security Number

Military and overseas voters should fill out a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to both register and request an absentee ballot: https://www.fvap.gov/district-of-columbia

The FPCA must be received by the D.C. Board of Elections 21 days before the election (i.e., by Tuesday, May 14, 2024). The application can be sent:

  • By mail or in-person:  D.C. Board of Elections at 1015 Half Street, SE, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20003.
  • By email (scanned as an attachment) to UOCAVA@dcboe.org 
  • By fax at (202) 347-2648


Voters will receive their ballot by mail, email, or fax, depending upon the delivery method they indicated on the FPCA. Instructions on how to vote and return the ballot will be included with the ballot.  Emailed or faxed voted ballots must be received by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Mailed voted ballots must be postmarked or otherwise demonstrated to have been sent on or before Election Day and received by the Board no later than the 7th day after Election Day (i.e., by Tuesday June 11, 2024).

If You Have a Criminal Record

All eligible voters (see above) including those with criminal records can vote in D.C. Individuals who are incarcerated, regardless of the offense, are able to vote. Those who are under court supervision or residing at a halfway house after release are also able to vote.  

If a voter is currently a resident at the D.C. Jail, when registering to vote, they may use their D.C. home address or the address of the D.C. Jail if they have been a resident at the DC Jail for at least 30 days.  If they are currently serving time in a federal facility, they may use their D.C. home address.

If an Absentee Ballot was mailed and the individual was released from incarceration before it arrived, they may vote at any Early Voting Center during Early Voting or at any Vote Center on Election Day
Voters can review and update their voter registration at the Register/Update Voter Registration page: https://www.dcboe.org/voters/register-to-vote/register-update-voter-registration

Questions about voting in Washington, D.C.?

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