Voter Registration In District of Columbia
Who Can Register In District of Columbia
To register to vote in D.C., you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be a resident of D.C. for at least 30 days prior to the election in which you intend to vote
- Be at least 17 years old and at least 18 by the next General Election (You may preregister to vote if you are at least 16 years old and meet eligibility requirements. You will automatically be registered to vote once you reach your 18th birthday.)
- Not have been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote
- Not be in jail for a felony conviction
You must register to vote at least 21 days before the election you wish to vote in, or you can register during early voting or on Election Day (see more under “Election Day Registration”).
District of Columbia Election Day Registration
If you’re eligible to vote in D.C. but have not yet registered, you can register and vote at early voting centers during the early voting period or at your polling place on Election Day.
You can pre-register to vote in D.C. when you turn 16.
Voting Rights Restoration
D.C. does restore the right to vote upon release.
If you have a past conviction, learn more about your eligibility to vote here.
Voting In District of Columbia
Where To Vote In District of Columbia
You can search for your polling place here.
Vote-by-mail & Absentee
No excuse is needed to vote absentee in D.C. Due to COVID-19, all registered voters in D.C. will automatically receive absentee ballots for the November 2020 election, so you do not need to request an absentee ballot. Register to vote or check your registration status to ensure you receive your ballot.
Typically, you can request an absentee ballot by completing the PDF form, signing it, and returning it to the Board of Elections by mail, fax, or email. The application must include your original, non-digital signature if submitted by mail. If submitting the application email or fax, a scanned version of the signature is sufficient.
Click here to track your D.C. absentee ballot.
To return your D.C. absentee ballot, mail it in, drop it off at a mail ballot drop box, or deliver it in person at any voting center.
Early Voting In District of Columbia
D.C. offers in-person early voting. No excuse is needed to vote early. Early voting begins one week before election day and ends the day before.
Primary Elections In District of Columbia
D.C. has closed primaries. Voters registered with a particular party may only vote in that party's primary. 17-year-olds can vote in the primary election if they will be 18 by the corresponding general election.
Voter ID In District of Columbia
Voter ID Requirements
ID is not required to vote in D.C. However, some polling places require ID to enter the facility. It is therefore encouraged that you take some form of identification with you to vote.
You must also show proof of residence if you are a first-time voter who did not submit ID upon registration, or if you are registering during the early voting period or on Election Day. Valid forms of proof of residence include:
- Valid District of Columbia DMV-issued ID
- Government check or paycheck (the issue date must be within 90 days of Election Day)
- Bank statement (the statement date must be within 90 days of Election Day)
- Current utility bill (does not include cell phone; the bill date must be within 90 days of Election Day)
- Student housing statement/tuition bill
- Homeless shelter occupancy statement
- Other government document that shows your name and address
If you were required to show ID but go to your polling place without an approved form of ID, you can cast a Special Ballot. At 5:00 pm on the 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.
Additional District of Columbia Resources
Your State Election Official
D.C. Executive Director of Board of Elections
Alice P. Miller
Phone number: 202.727.2525