IMPORTANT NOTICE: All General Election information presented here, including dates and deadlines, is accurate as of November 2020. The US General Election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 has now passed. You can still find information on important dates here, including when ballots must be received by your state.
The information on this page applies to the November 3, 2020 General Election. Voting for that election has ended in all states.
To vote in the District of Columbia you must:
- be a citizen of the United States
- be a resident of the District of Columbia
- maintain residency in the District of Columbia for at least 30 days prior to the election in which you intend to vote
- not claim voting residence or the right to vote in another U.S. state or territory
- be at least 17 years old (You may 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
- *find more information on voting rights restoration here
Due to COVID-19, in-person services may have limited availability. Contact your local election office to confirm. See CDC guidance on safe in-person voting.
Vote on Election Day
No early votingThe District of Columbia does not offer an early voting period. If you will be unable to vote in person on Election Day, you can request an absentee ballot by mail or by visiting your local election office.
In-person absentee voting is available 15 days prior to an election, while early voting is available 7 days prior to an election.
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 (does not include cell phone bill) issued within 90 days of Election Day, bank statement issued within 90 days of Election Day, government check issued within 90 days of Election Day, 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.
- Request your mail-in ballot with a mail ballot application.
- Fill out the application completely.
- Submit the request to your local election office.
- When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
Learn more about what will be on your ballot by visiting Ballotpedia.
can help you start the absentee/mail-in ballot request process, send you election reminders, and more. If you’d like more help planning how to vote, we can walk you through the process!
The District of Columbia does offer registration on Election Day.
Military and overseas voters
Active-duty military, their families, and overseas citizens can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA process is done by mail, but your state may offer other options to request and return ballots. Please contact your election official
for more information about delivery and return methods, including email, fax, and state online portals. To follow the FPCA process:
If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:
- 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.
- Send the application to your election official.
- It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible.
- Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it.
- 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.
- 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. You can also call 1-800-438-VOTE
or email firstname.lastname@example.org