How to vote in the District of Columbia

This guide contains information about the 2018 midterm election held on November 6. It may be out-of-date.
 
Election day is Tuesday, November 6. The District of Columbia allows any voter to request a ballot by mail. You can also vote in person. The District of Columbia offers early voting.

Who can vote

To register in the District of Columbia you must:
  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a District of Columbia resident at least 30 days preceding the next election
  • 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 be in jail for a felony conviction
  • not have been judged "mentally incompetent" by a court of law
  • not claim the right to vote anywhere outside D.C.

Vote in person

Vote on election day

Voters registered in the District of Columbia can look up where to vote on the District of Columbia's site or at GetToThePolls.com.

Vote early

The District of Columbia voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Monday, October 22 to Friday, November 2, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live. You can look up when and where to vote early at GetToThePolls.com.

What to bring

  • If you've voted in DC before, you don't need to provide ID to vote. Some polling locations may require ID for you to enter the facility, however.
  • If you're a first-time voter who registered by mail, and didn't provide proof of residence when registering, you will need to show proof of residence to vote. Acceptable forms include: a current and valid government-issued photo ID; or a current utility bill (including a cell phone bill), bank statement, government check, paycheck, lease or rental agreement, university housing or tuition bill, or another government document that shows your name and address.
  • Voters without ID: If you are unable to provide ID, you will be able to vote a special ballot. You have two days following the election to show ID to the Board of Elections.

Vote by mail

  1. Request your mail-in ballot with a mail ballot application.
  2. Fill out the application completely.
  3. Submit the request to your local election office. You should request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Tuesday, October 30.
  4. When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.

See what's on the ballot

Learn more about what will be on your ballot at GetToThePolls.com or Ballotpedia.

Get step-by-step help

TurboVote can help you fill out your ballot request form, send you election reminders, and more. If you'd like more help planning how to vote, we can walk you through the process!

Military and overseas voters

Active-duty military, their families, and voters living outside the US can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). To do so:
  1. Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
  2. Send the application to your election official.
  3. It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
  4. When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
  5. States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven't received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office.
If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:
  • You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
  • If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program – FVAP.gov offers additional information on military and overseas voting in the District of Columbia.

Check your voter registration status

You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using the District of Columbia's voter registration lookup tool.

Dates and deadlines

  • Election day is Tuesday, November 6.
  • The deadline to register online is Tuesday, October 16.
  • The deadline for registering to vote by mail is Tuesday, October 16.
  • The deadline to register to vote in person is Tuesday, November 6.
  • The early voting period runs from Monday, October 22 to Friday, November 2, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
  • The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Tuesday, October 30.
  • You can also register and vote on Election Day.

Election contact information for the District of Columbia

Address:
Board of Elections
1015 Half Street SE Suite 750
Washington, DC 20003

Phone Number:
(202) 727-2525