District of Columbia

Upcoming Elections

Last updated: March 2022

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.
Early Voting: You can also vote early, either in-person, or by mail. Currently the early voting period is from Friday October 31, 2022 through Sunday, November 6, 2022. Early voting centers are open every day during this period from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m

Where You Can Vote

Use this link to locate the closest mail-in ballot drop box, early vote center, or Election Day vote center: https://dcboe.org/Voters/Where-to-Vote/Find-Out-Where-to-Vote

Registering to Vote & Identification Requirements

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 a resident of District of Columbia
  • Are at least 18 years old by Election Day

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 

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

  • – Be a United States citizen
  • – Be a DC 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 (you must be 18 to actually vote in the 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

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

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 you plan to register in person during the early voting period or on Election Day, you will need to provide proof of residence that shows your name and current DC 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 your first time voting in DC and you did not provide proof of residence when registering, you will need to show one of the above proofs of residence to cast a live (regular) ballot.

Early Voting & by Absentee Ballot

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

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

Absentee Ballots may be returned:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail

All registered DC voters will automatically be mailed a ballot. You only need to request an absentee ballot if you are going to be away from DC during the voting period

Requests for absentee mail-in ballots must be received no later than the 15th day before each election (i.e., by Monday, October 24, 2022): https://dcboe.org/Voters/Absentee-Voting/Request-an-Absentee-Ballot.
All registered DC voters should receive a ballot by mail in advance of the election, or they can use an early voting center. To ensure that you receive your mail-in ballot at the correct address, check and update (if necessary) your voter registration.

If You Have Moved Within Your State

All active registered voters will be mailed a ballot for the 2022 elections. However, DC voters who expect to be away from their DC residence during the election must request an Absentee Ballot. Visit https://www.dcboe.org/Voters/Absentee-Voting/Request-an-Absentee-Ballot to request a ballot.

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 update or make corrections to your voter registration, visit the Register/Update Voter Registration page: https://www.dcboe.org/Voters/Register-To-Vote/Register-to-Vote.

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

Your Federal Post Card Application must be received by the DC Board of Elections 21 days before the election (i.e., by Tuesday, October 18, 2022). You can send the application:

  • By mail or in-person:  DC 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

You will receive your absentee ballot by mail, email, or fax, depending upon the delivery method you indicate on your application. Instructions on how to vote and return your ballot will be included with your 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.

If You Have a Criminal Record

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

If you would like the Board of Elections to hold a registration event at your residence or facility, email outreachspecialist@dcboe.org for more information.

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

If an Absentee Ballot was mailed and you were released from incarceration before it arrived, you may vote at any Voting Center during Early Voting or at any Vote Center on Election Day
You can make any registration updates online here: https://dcboe.org/Voters/Register-To-Vote/Register-to-Vote.

Questions about voting in Washington, D.C.?

Contact Us