Early &
Mail-in Voting
in District of Columbia

Warning: 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.

Note - this information below may change for your state due to ongoing litigation and legislation. This page will be updated within 24 hours of any change.

Vote Before Election Day

Vote By Mail Deadlines

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

In-Person Early Voting

Early voting dates and hours vary by county. Contact your Local Election Office for more information.

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.

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 October 24th at 5 p.m. After you complete your ballot, be sure to return ASAP!

  • Return your ballot in person by Election Day, November 8th, 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 November 8th 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 November 8th.

Look Up Ballot Drop Off Locations

You may vote by mail for any reason

You don’t need an excuse to request an absentee ballot. You can vote by mail for any reason.

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.

Use The Right Form of ID

DC voters must show valid photo ID when voting in person. Info here on what qualifies. You do not need to submit a copy of your photo ID when voting by mail.

How You Can Return Your Mail-in Ballot

By Mail

Your postage is prepaid.

In Person

  • Local elections office
  • Drop box
  • Early voting locations
  • Polling place

Any designated person can drop off a ballot for you.

Look Up Ballot Drop Off Locations

Make Sure Your Mail-in Vote Counts

Click here to track your ballot. The District offers electronic, barcode ballot tracking services so you can make sure your ballot gets counted. Your state 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.

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.

Election Protection Hotline

The national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition was formed to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. Made up of more than 100 local, state and national partners, Election Protection works year-round to advance and defend the right to vote.

Call 866-OUR-VOTE if you need assistance.

More about voting in District of Columbia

Find your polling place, ID laws, and more about voting for the first time below.

Voting Info for District of Columbia First Time Voter Info