The June 21 DC Primary Election has already begun with the first wave of mail-in ballots hitting mailboxes last week. The information below can help you exercise your right to vote and answer many of the questions you may have.
Key Points for Voters to Know
- There’s still time to register to vote. Register before May 31 to receive a mail-in ballot, or register in person at any Vote Center during Early Voting (June 10-19) or on Election Day (June 21). Voter registration and proof of address requirements are here. Voter registration forms in languages other than English are here.
- Check your voter registration status and update it to make sure you receive your mail-in ballot at the correct address.
- You don’t need to request a ballot for the Primary Election, but you can change the address where you want it sent. The Board is mailing all registered voters a ballot with a pre-paid return envelope. Follow the instructions included with your ballot.
- Vote Safe by making a plan. Voters should consult the Board of Elections’ map to find Vote Centers and Ballot Drop Boxes near them.
- Vote early in one of four ways:
- Return your ballot quickly by mail – no postage required. Leave plenty of time for your ballot to reach the Board. Ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day (June 21), and they must be received by the Board no later than June 28.
- Return your ballot in one of the Board’s 55 secure drop boxes across the District until 8 p.m. on Election Day
- Drop off your ballot at any Vote Center from 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. during “Election Week” (June 10-19) and from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Election Day (June 21)
- Vote early in person at any Vote Center during “Election Week” (June 10-19) from 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Early Voting Vote Center Locations.
- If you choose to vote in person on Election Day, plan ahead! Bring water, snacks, and a mask, and dress comfortably. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Vote Center Locations on Election Day.
Important Dates to Remember
- May 16: The Board of Elections will begin mailing registered voters their ballots.
- May 27: Ballot drop boxes open. Ballot Drop Box Locations.
- May 31: Last day to register to vote or update your voter information to receive a mail-in ballot. Last day to change your party affiliation. If you miss this deadline, you can still register to vote in person at a Vote Center during Early Voting or on Election Day (and you’ll be able to vote in person) (but you will not be able to change your party affiliation). Register to vote here.
- June 6: Last day to request an absentee ballot if you would like to receive it somewhere besides the residence listed on your voter registration (for example, if you will be out of town during the election). *Remember, there is no need to request a mail-in ballot to your address listed on your voter registration – the Board of Elections will automatically mail you one.
- June 10-19: Early voting during “Election Week.” Polls are open 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Early Voting Vote Center Locations.
- June 21: Election Day! Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Election Day Vote Center Locations.
- June 28: Deadline for the Board of Elections to receive ballots that are returned by mail.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I receive someone else’s ballot? Mark the outer envelope as “Return to Sender.” Don’t destroy another person’s mail.
What if I receive my mail-in ballot, but I want to vote in person? Bring your ballot with you, or you can simply destroy your own mailed ballot.
How will I be able to track my mail-in ballot? Voters may sign up to use Ballot Trax to track their ballot. Once registered, voters will receive text messages and emails about their ballot status. Information about how to sign up for Ballot Trax is provided in the envelope along with the mailed ballot. If a voter does not have access to email or text messages, the voter can call the Board of Elections for tracking information.
What if I’m concerned about voting by mail, but don’t want to vote in person due to COVID risks? Bring your ballot to a secure Ballot Drop Box. Beginning on May 27, dozens of Ballot Drop Boxes will be located around the city. They are secure and modeled after many states and jurisdictions that have used Ballot Drop Boxes safely and securely for years. Ballots will be collected at least twice a day by the Board of Elections’ staff. This will be the quickest and easiest way to return your ballot if you prefer not to mail your ballot and want to avoid voting in person.
How many Vote Centers will be open? The Board will be opening 40 Vote Centers for Early Voting and 90 Vote Centers for Election Day. Voters can vote at any Vote Center in the District.
Do I have to vote in my Ward or at a particular Vote Center? No. Voters can vote at any Vote Center during Election Week or on Election Day, regardless of where they live. If you are going to vote in-person, check the Board of Elections’ map and make a plan about what location works best for you.
Do I need to bring ID with me to the polls? Registered voters do not need to present proof of residence to vote. If you will be registering during the Early Voting period or on Election Day, you will need to provide proof of residence in order to register and vote. If you are a first-time voter who registered by mail and did not provide proof of residence when registering, you will need to show proof of residence in order to cast a live (regular) ballot.
Thank you to the DC Council’s Committee on the Judiciary Committee and Public Safety and Sonia Weil for compiling this information.