Voting by Special Ballot
The Check-In Clerk will determine whether you are eligible to cast a live (regular) ballot or whether you must cast a Special Ballot, which will be tabulated after Election Day.
You may be required to complete a Special Ballot for any of the following reasons:
You are marked as an "Early Voter"
The pollbook shows you have voted at an Early Voting Center. If you have not already voted, your Special Ballot will be counted.
You are marked as an "Absentee Voter"
The pollbook shows you have received an Absentee Ballot for this election. If you have not already voted, your Special Ballot will be counted.
You are marked as "ID REQUIRED," but do NOT have ID
- The pollbook indicates you must show identification because the DMV-issued number or the last four digits of the Social Security Number you provided on your registration application could not be verified and you did not show ID before voting.
- You have two days following the election to show your ID to the Board.
- Acceptable forms of ID include:
- A copy of a current and valid government-issued photo identification
- A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, or paycheck (dated no earlier than 90 days before the date upon which you mail your application or, if you do not submit proof by mail or online, 90 days before the date you vote)
- Any other government-issued document
You claim a different party affiliation status (Primary Election)
- You claim a different political party in the primary other than the one shown on the list of registered voters at the polling place.
- Your ballot will be counted if the Board has your party affiliation listed incorrectly due to a clerical error.
You claim a different ANC/SMD (General Election)
- You claim a different Single Member District in the general election than the one shown on the list of registered voters at the polling place.
- If the Board's research following the election indicates you do not reside in the Single Member District for which you received a ballot, your vote for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner will not be counted.
You already checked-in/signature line already signed
- The pollbook indicates you have already checked in to vote.
- If you have not already voted, your Special Ballot will be counted.
- Your right to vote was challenged by another voter or a poll watcher and approved by the Precinct Captain.
- Your Special Ballot will be counted if the Board determines that you are the person you say you are and you are eligible to vote in the election.
Voting hours extended by a court or the Board
- You voted during extended hours.
- If the court orders that polling places remain open after 8:00 pm, all voters who cast ballots during these extended hours must vote by Special Ballot.
- Your vote will count if the court decision is upheld.
- You have two days following the election to show your proof of residence to the Board.
- Acceptable forms of proof of residence include:
- Current and valid District of Columbia DMV issued ID
- Government check or paycheck*
- Bank statement*
- Current utility bill*
- Student housing statement/tuition bill
- Homeless shelter occupancy statement
- Other government document with your name and address
* The check, bill, or statement date must be within 90 days of Election Day
You completed a change of address but did not provide acceptable proof of residence
- You have two days following the election to provide proof of residency to the Board.
- Acceptable forms of proof of residence are listed in the Same-Day Registration section above.
The Special Ballot Clerk will direct you to complete the right side of the Special Ballot Envelope. You must complete the required sections of the envelope and sign the Voter Affirmation. The Special Ballot Clerk will then complete the left side of the envelope and issue you the correct Special Ballot.
You will complete the Special Ballot, insert it into the Ballot Secrecy Envelope, insert the secrecy envelope into the Special Ballot Envelope, and deposit the Special Ballot Envelope in the Special Ballot Box.
Will my votes be secret?
Yes. Your ballot will remain in the Special Ballot Envelope until the Board has reviewed and qualified your Special Ballot for counting. If qualified, your ballot is separated from the Special Ballot Envelope so that your ballot is kept secret. If DCBOE decides not to count your ballot, your Special Ballot will remain in the sealed Special Ballot Envelope for the two-year period required for maintaining election records.
How can I find out if my ballot is counted?
You can look up the status of your Special Ballot online the day after the election to find out if your Special Ballot was counted, and if not, the reason why it was not counted.
What are my rights to appeal to have my vote counted?
If the Board decides not to count your Special Ballot, you may appeal that decision. You may call the Office of the General Counsel at (202) 727-2194 to schedule a hearing.
When are Special Ballots tallied?
The date upon which votes cast by Special Ballot that are found to be qualified for counting in the election are tabulated varies by election. For the 2022 General Election, Special Ballot tabulation is tentatively scheduled to take place on November 16, 2022.
Are Special Ballots counted even if they will not change the outcome of the election?
All qualified votes cast by Special Ballot are tabulated.