When and where do I vote in D.C.?
The General Election is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
I recently moved within the District. Am I allowed to vote at the polling place closest to me?
You may vote at any Vote Center during early voting and on Election Day. Remember to bring proof of your new address with you.
Why has my polling place changed?
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DC Board of Elections has developed the Vote Safe DC campaign.
The BOE is developing safety protocols to protect voters and election workers in consultation with the CDC and other leading federal agencies to make voting as safe as possible. Therefore, the Board will only operate 80 Vote Centers during the voting period (October 27 - November 2) and on Election Day, November 3, 2020.
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 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. 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 Vote Centers.
English is not my first language. Are interpreters available at the Vote Centers?
The D.C. Board of Election provides language access services for customers/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.
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 it is encouraged that you take some form of identification with you to vote in case you need it.
If you will be registering during the Early Voting period or 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 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.
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 Vote Center 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 second 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 do not have to request an Absentee Ballot. The Board is mailing every active registered voter a ballot via the United States Postal Service.
You can use the request form to change the address as to where you want the mail in ballot sent to. Once you have completed the form, print and sign it, and return it to the Board by mail, email, or fax. All mailed or faxed Absentee Ballot Applications must be received no later than seven days 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 voted and mailed ballot is postmarked or otherwise demonstrated to have been sent on or before Election Day. Mailed ballots must arrive no later than the 7th day after Election Day to be counted.
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 any Vote Center on Election Day. You can bring the ballot with you and vote it there. If you have already returned your ballot, you will be issued a Special Ballot.
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.
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 D.C. 20003.