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Voting & Elections Toolkits

Voting and advocacy resources by librarians for librarians

Updates for 2024 Election

Last updated 1/11/2024

Board of Elections / Vote Safe DC

D.C. 2024 Elections - general information with key dates

Absentee Ballot: You do not need to request an absentee ballot. All voters will receive a mail-in ballot at their registered address.

DC voters who expect to be away from their DC residence during the election must request a Mail-in Ballot.

 

Voter Registration in the District of Columbia (D.C.)

Eligibility

To register to vote, you must:

  • Be a United States Citizen
  • Be a resident of the District of Columbia (You may not vote in an election in the District of Columbia unless you have been a 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 may pre-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 have been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote

 

 
 
The Board must receive your Voter Registration materials at least 21 days prior to Election Day. For the June 4, 2024 Primary Election, this deadline falls on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

If you miss the deadline, Same-Day Registration is available at Vote Centers during the Early Voting period and on Election Day.

In order to complete Same-Day Registration during the Early Voting period or on Election Day, you will need to complete a Voter Registration Application, swear or affirm that you are qualified to vote, and provide valid proof of residence.

You can learn more about which documents qualify as valid proof of residence on our Register/Update Voter Registration page.

NOTE: If you are currently registered to vote in DC, you may not use Same-Day Registration to change your party affiliation during the Early Voting period or on Election Day. Requests for change of party affiliation received during the 21 days before a Primary Election will be processed after the Primary Election.

Register to vote or update your voter registration in three ways:

1. ONLINE Here

2. BY MAIL, E-MAIL, or FAX, download the Voter Registration Application and follow these steps:

  • STEP 1 - Open and print the Mail in Voter Registration Application 
  • STEP 2 - Complete fields 1 to 13.
  • STEP 3 - Sign the form.
  • STEP 4 - Submit the form by mail (postage prepaid), fax, or just take a picture with your cell phone and send it by email.
    • By mail or in person at D.C. Board of Elections, 1015 Half Street, SE, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20003
    • By email (scanned as an attachment) at DCRegistrations@dcboe.org
    • By fax at (202) 347-2648 

3. IN-PERSON, visiting our office or any voter registration agency, or you may register and vote at the same time during Early Voting and Election Day (Same Day Registration):

If the deadlines for the receipt of voter registration applications and updates submitted online, by mail, or in person at the Board of Elections or another voter registration agency have passed, you can still register during early voting or on Election Day. To register when you vote, you must provide proof of residence that shows your name and current District of Columbia address. Acceptable forms of proof of residence include: 

  • A copy of a current and valid government-issued photo identification
  • A utility bill for water, gas, electricity, cable, internet, telephone, or cellular phone service issued no earlier than 90 days before the election
  • A savings, checking, credit, or money market account statement from a bank or credit union issued no earlier than 90 days before the election
  • A 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
  • A 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
  • A current residential lease or rental agreement
  • An occupancy statement from a District homeless shelter issued no earlier than 90 days before the election
  • A tuition or housing bill from a District of Columbia college or university issued for the current academic or housing term

Are you a military or overseas voter? Please visit https://www.fvap.gov/district-of-columbia for information on registration and absentee voting.


Already registered? Check your voter registration status here

Any registered voter may cancel their registration by completing the Online Request to Cancel Voter Registration form.

Alternatively, a PDF form can be printed, completed, and then returned by:

  • Scanning and emailing it to voterservices@dcboe.org;
  • Mailing it or submitting it in person to:

District of Columbia Board of Elections
1015 Half St SE, Suite 750,
Washington, DC 20003

Check your voter registration status here

ID Requirements for D.C. Voters

To register to vote, you must:

  • Be a United States Citizen
  • Be a resident of the District of Columbia (You may not vote in an election in the District of Columbia unless you have been a 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 may pre-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 have been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote

 

If you are registering to vote in the District of Columbia for the first time and you submit your application by mail or online, you must either include a copy of one of the following documents with your application or present a copy of the document the first time you vote: 

  • 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

 

Registered voters do not need to present identification or proof of residence to vote. However, we encourage you to take some form of identification with you to vote in case you need it.

If you plan to register in person during the Early Voting period or on Election Day, you will need to provide proof of residence in order to register and vote.

If this is your first time voting in DC and you 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):

  • Valid District of Columbia DMV-issued ID 
  • Government check or paycheck*
  • Bank statement*
  • Current utility bill (does not include cell phone)*
  • Student housing statement/tuition bill
  • Homeless shelter occupancy statement
  • Residential Lease
  • Other current government document that shows your name and address

*The issue, bill, or statement date must be within 90 days of Election Day


Information for DC DMV-issued ID

The District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles issues both driver's licenses and non-driver identification cards to DC residents. Information on requirements to obtain either form of identification can be found on the DMV website.

Casting a Ballot in D.C.

Key Dates and Deadlines

  • DCBOE begins sending mail-in ballots to all registered voters: September 30, 2024
  • Mail Ballot Drop Boxes open: October 11, 2024
  • Deadline for receipt of all voter registration applications: October 15, 2024
  • Deadline to request Absentee Ballot*: October 15, 2024
  • Deadline for UOCAVA voters to request an Absentee Ballot: November 2, 2024
  • Early Voting period: October 28 to November 3, 2024
  • General Election Day: November 5, 2024
  • Deadline for DCBOE to receive voted Absentee Ballots: November 12, 2024
*Given that DCBOE is mailing all registered DC voters a mail-in ballot, you do NOT need to request an Absentee Ballot unless you will be away from your DC residence during the 2024 Primary Election.

 

 

Mail Ballot Request

 

All active registered voters will be mailed a ballot. However, DC voters who expect to be away from their DC residence during the election must request a Mail-In Ballot: Mail Ballot Request Form

You DO NOT have to request a Mail Ballot unless you will be away from your DC residence during the election.

Requests for Mail Ballots must be received no later than the 15th day before each election. 

You will receive your ballot by mail. Instructions on how to vote and return your ballot will be included along with your ballot. Your voted and mailed ballot must be postmarked or otherwise demonstrated to have been sent on or before Election Day, and must arrive no later than the 10th day after Election Day.  

You can track the status of your Mail Ballot here. If you are concerned that you may not be able to receive or cast your ballot in time for it to be counted, please contact the D.C. Board of Elections at (202) 727-2525.

Primary Election Day
Tuesday, June 4, 2024, from 7:00 am – 8:00 pm

General Election Day
Tuesday, November 5, 2024 (Election Day), from 7:00 am – 8:00 pm

Where To Vote
Vote Center Locator Tool

Election Day Vote Centers

Rides to the polls

Many organizations offer free rides to polling places. Some of these include:

Voter Assistance


The District of Columbia Board of Elections (the Board) provides several options for voters who may need some form of assistance, such as senior citizens, people with disabilities, and people who are Non-English Proficient (NEP) or Limited English Proficient (LEP).  


If you are a voter who requires assistance and you wish to vote in person, you are welcome to do so at any Vote Center location during Early Voting and on Election Day. When voting in-person at a Vote Center location, you will cast your ballot using the Board’s accessible touchscreen voting equipment. Voter Assistance Clerks will be on-site to help any voters who may require assistance.

In addition to in-person voting, DCBOE offers curbside voting, early voting, mail-in voting, an accessible remote ballot (ARB) marking system, language access, and a change of polling place.

 

Accessibility statement

Election Calendar

Official News and Updates from DCBOE
Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

YouTube

Elections

Primaries vs. general elections

  • Primary elections are conducted to select each party’s candidates in the general election.
  • To vote in a primary election in the District of Columbia, you must be registered to vote with the Democratic, Republican or D.C. Statehood Green Party. (Source: Votesmart.org).

Jurisdiction

Offices/Measures That May Appear on the Ballot

source: https://www.dcboe.org/dcboe/media/PDFFiles/Elected-Officals-List-10-30-19.pdf

Federal

President/Vice-President (elected every four years; next election in 2020)

Delegate to the U.S. Representatives

Shadow U.S. Senators and Shadow U.S. Representative

 

Ward Members

At-large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia

Ward Member of the Council of the District of Columbia (Wards 2, 4, 7, & 8)
Municipal

 District of Columbia State Board of Education

Mayor of the District of Columbia

Attorney General for the District of Columbia

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners

 

 

Who are the candidates, and what else is on the ballot?

Draft calendars and ballot information

Key Dates and Deadlines

  • DCBOE begins sending mail-in ballots to all registered voters: September 30, 2024
  • Mail Ballot Drop Boxes open: October 11, 2024
  • Deadline for receipt of all voter registration applications: October 15, 2024
  • Deadline to request Absentee Ballot*: October 15, 2024
  • Deadline for UOCAVA voters to request an Absentee Ballot: November 2, 2024
  • Early Voting period: October 28 to November 3, 2024
  • General Election Day: November 5, 2024
  • Deadline for DCBOE to receive voted Absentee Ballots: November 12, 2024
*Given that DCBOE is mailing all registered DC voters a mail-in ballot, you do NOT need to request an Absentee Ballot unless you will be away from your DC residence during the 2024 Primary Election.

 

Who conducts elections?

 

The District of Columbia Board of Elections (DCBOE) is the independent agency of the District government responsible for the administration of elections, ballot access, and voter registration. DCBOE consists of three active Board members, an Executive Director, a General Counsel, and a number of support staff who run the day-to-day operations of the Agency.

Voter Bill of Rights

Right to Vote

The Constitution, until amended or until DC becomes a state or part of a state, gives Congress exclusive legislative authority over DC in Article I, Section 8, Clause 17. Over DC's 200-year history, Congress has passed laws to modify the local governance structure numerous times. In 1973, Congress granted DC limited Home Rule authority. Congress oversees DC through four Congressional subcommittees, four committees, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the President. Congress not only reviews and can modify DC's local budget, but it can also annul any law it does not agree with. Therefore, DC does not have true local self-government. In addition, the President appoints DC's local judges and is in charge of DC's court and prison system. The federal government prosecutes most crimes, not DC. DC has been denied these Constitutional rights which are guaranteed to citizens living in states: equal representation in the Senate under the 17th Amendment and House of Representatives under Article 1, the right to a republican form of government under Article 4, the right to all powers and privileges under the 9th and 10th amendments, and equal protection under the 14th Amendment. DC citizens were prohibited from voting in Presidential elections until the 23rd amendment to the Constitutional was ratified in 1961. They have never been permitted full voting rights in Congress.

Where to go with complaints about candidates or how elections are conducted

Contact the  U.S. Department of Justice Election through its Report Site.

Utilize the Department of Elections website

Campaign finance

The D.C. Office of Campaign Finance covers regulation, enforcement, services and more.

Contact your current D.C. elected officials HERE

 

 

General Resources on Voting and Elections

General Resources on Voting and Elections


Election Protection Hotlines


1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) (en Español)

1-888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) (Asian multilingual assistance)

1-844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287) (Arabic)


Voter Registration & Election Day Resources

Find useful voter information including:

  • Local Election Office and Contact Information
  • Address, Telephone and Email for Local Election Offices
  • Upcoming Federal Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming State Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Identification Requirements
  • Voter Materials Transmission Options
  • State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered? Where’s my Ballot?

Population-Specific information and Resources

Voting Rights: Laws, Cases, Policy

Voter Engagement

Voter Education

Campaign Finance/Funding Information

Primary Sources, Lesson Plans & Exhibits

Disclaimer

Librarians from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), a Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), created these reference guides. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and are not in any way intended to be legal advice.

If you have questions or feedback to share about these guides, we encourage you to CONTACT US.

These guides are designated with a Creative Commons license and re-use and modification for educational purposes is encouraged.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.