Voting in District of Columbia
Voter Registration In District of Columbia
Who Can Register In District of Columbia
To register to vote in the District of Columbia, 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
You must register to vote at least 21 days before the election you wish to vote in.
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
DC residents retain the right to vote during and after any period of incarceration, regardless of their conviction. If you have a past conviction, learn more about your eligibility to vote.
Voting In District of Columbia
Where To Vote In District of Columbia
Vote-by-mail & Absentee
All voters are eligible to vote absentee/by mail in the District of Columbia; no excuse is needed.
Early Voting In District of Columbia
DC offers in-person early voting. No excuse is needed to vote early. Early voting begins no more than 12 days before the election. Early vote locations and hours of operation are set by the DC Board of Elections.
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:
- Copy and 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 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.
Additional District of Columbia Resources
Your State Election Official
D.C. Executive Director of Board of Elections
Monica Holman Evans
Phone number: 202.727.2525