Voting in District of Columbia

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Presidential Primary Election

Election Date
Voter Registration Deadline (by mail - received, online)

Vote By Mail Deadlines

Deadline to Request Ballot (Received by)
Deadline to Return Ballot (Received By)

Early Voting Dates

Early Voting Begins
Early Voting Ends

The upcoming election is a presidential primary. Learn About Presidential Primaries

Polling place hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Register to Vote

How to Vote in District of Columbia

Learn about all the options to vote in District of Columbia to make a plan to vote that works for you!

District of Columbia is a vote by mail state. This means that all registered voters will receive a mail-in ballot to the address on their voter registration. If you have moved you must update your registration.

Frequently Asked Questions

District of Columbia Board of Elections Phone Number: (202) 727-2525

District of Columbia Board of Elections Website

Having trouble at the polls?

Call or text: 1-866-OUR-VOTE

Register to Vote in District of Columbia

Whether you are registering to vote for the first time, or need to update your address, name or party affiliation - we've got you covered!

Am I Registered?

Not sure if you are eligible to vote due to a felony conviction?
Click here to learn more.

District of Columbia Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely! You can check your voter registration online on Washington D.C.’s elections office website here, or you can contact the Board of Elections at (202) 727-2525.

It can take several weeks. Most states send out voter registration cards within 5 to 7 weeks after receiving the registration. If you do not receive a registration card in the mail, contact your state election office to confirm you are registered. Find your state’s contact information in our How to Vote in Your State section on this page! In any event, you should verify your registration a week prior to the voter registration deadline in your state in case you need to fill out a new registration form or correct your form.

Elections take place all the time throughout the year, and odds are, you probably have an election coming up in your state! In addition to the presidential election and midterm elections, you have statewide, countywide and municipal elections that you can make your voice heard in. Make sure you know when your upcoming elections are so that you don’t miss a single one! Check out when your next election is here.

Washington D.C. provides an online ballot tracking system. You can track your ballot here!

YES you are able to register to vote at your student address. You should provide your official campus mailing address as well as the actual physical address of your on or off campus residence when registering to vote. You must have some sort of proof of address and residency that can be presented at your polling place (mail, a student ID, etc.). For more information, we suggest visiting the D.C. elections office website. Remember: you can only register to vote and vote in one place, whether that is your student address or your home address!

YES, unhoused voters can register to vote and use their voice in Washington D.C.’s elections. Unhoused voters or voters without a permanent address may list a shelter address, street corner, or park as their address. For more information on voting while unhoused, visit our friends at the National Coalition for the Homeless.

YES. In this case you must register at the last address you had before you left the USA, or at the address to which you will return to when returning to the USA (you must present some indication of a present intent to return and live there – e.g. vehicle registration, driver’s license, property ownership, family, etc). If you have never had a permanent address in the United States but are a citizen you are allowed to register at an address you plan on moving to or an address where you currently have family living. Access more information on voting overseas here.

You may call the voting rights hotline at 866 687-8683, if informing another poll worker isn’t successful. They have lawyers ready to help you. Additionally, you can call the civil rights division of the U.S Department of Justice.

You can also find Washington D.C.’s elections office here and contact them by phone at (202) 727-2525.

Vote By Mail

Request and track

Notice: Mail-in voting is a convenient and safe way to vote, but your ballot might not count if it’s submitted late or with errors. So follow the directions below on how to vote early or absentee and make your vote count in District of Columbia.

Vote By Mail Deadlines

Deadline to Request Ballot (Received by)
Deadline to Return Ballot (Received By)

How Vote By Mail Works in District of Columbia

Voting by mail in Washington D.C. has a one step vote by mail process, meaning that all registered voters receive a ballot in the mail. Only voters who need their ballot mailed to a different address will need to request a ballot. The deadline for your application to be received is 15 days before Election Day. 

After you complete your ballot, be sure to return ASAP!

  • Return your ballot in person by Election Day at 8 p.m. You can return your ballot to any drop box, early vote centers, or the DC Board of Elections office.
  • Or return your ballot by mail. Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received 10 days after Election Day to be counted. To make your postmark date, put the ballot into your home mailbox for collection at least one day prior to ensure it is picked up and processed. You can also drop the ballot off at the post office before the last posted collection time on Election Day.

Where to Sign Your Ballot

Remember to sign your return ballot.

After completing your ballot, sign and date the voter's oath on the back of the return envelope where indicated. The board of elections will throw away your ballot if you forget to sign.

How You Can Return Your Mail-in Ballot

If you return your ballot by mail, your postage is prepaid.

You can also drop off your ballot in person at your local elections office, drop box, early voting locations, or polling place.

Can Someone Else Return Your Ballot For You?

Any designated person can drop off a ballot for you.

Track Your Ballot

Track your ballot by clicking here.

Haven't used your ballot?

If you have an absentee ballot that you are not going to use, or you miss the deadline to return, you may go to your polling place and vote in person. You may be asked to use a provisional ballot. Additionally, if you received one, it is recommended that you safely discard or shred your mail in ballot.

Opportunities to Fix Challenges to Your Ballot

District of Columbia does not offer voters a chance to address challenges to their ballot. Your ballot will not count if it is late, or you do not follow directions.

Voter ID

Do Voters Need ID?

Voters in DC are NOT required to show ID at the polls, except for some first time voters who did not submit required ID information with their voter registration form and voters who are registering to vote during early voting or on Election Day. Valid forms of identification include;

  • Current and valid photo ID
  • Current lease or utility bill with your address
  • Bank statement with your address
  • Government-issued check with your address
  • Paycheck/stub with your name and address
  • Other government-issued document that shows your name and address
  • Student ID

All acceptable forms of ID can be found here.

Voter ID in District of Columbia

Find Your Ballot

Enter your address below to see what you can expect on Election Day.


Presidential Primaries

Primary Type (D): Closed
Primary Type (R): Closed

Only registered voters affiliated with a particular party may vote in the primary election. If you are not registered to vote, you can register and pick a party at your polling place on the day of the primary and vote in that party’s primary. If you are registered to vote, the deadline to declare or change your party registration is 21 days before Election Day.

See D.C.’s Republican Party or Democratic Party websites for more details.

In addition to the president, the Washington D.C. primary election includes the following races:
– City council
– School boards



Automatic Registration

Your state automatically registers people to vote at the address on their drivers license or other state issued ID card. If you have moved but have not updated your ID with your new address, changed your name or want to add a political party selection, you must update your voter registration. Click here to check to see if you are registered to vote, and update your registration if needed.

Election Day Registration

You can register to vote and cast your ballot on Election Day at your polling place or local elections office. Bring a valid ID and proof of residence with you.

Early Voting

Early Voting Dates

Voting Begins
Voting Ends

You can vote early in District of Columbia

You can return your mail-in ballot to your early voting site.

A list of early vote centers in Washington D.C. can be found here. You can register to vote at early vote centers.


Some states have laws that specifically allow citizens to preregister at a certain age while others allow registration as long as you’re 18 by the next election. Preregistration means you’ll be automatically registered to vote on your 18th birthday without taking any additional steps.

In District of Columbia, you can preregister to vote if you are 16. Register to vote today!

Some states even let you vote in their primaries at 17 if you’ll be 18 by the general election so you can participate in the whole process!

You can vote in the District of Columbia primaries if you are 17 by the next election.