howtovote logo
How to
in
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.

We're monitoring election changes related to COVID-19 and making updates to the information below as quickly as possible. Please check back frequently to make sure you have the most up-to-date details.

Last update: Apr 08, 2021

Who can vote



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

Vote in person

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
Voters registered in Washington, D.C. can look up where to vote on Washington, D.C.'s site.

Vote early

Washington, D.C. does offer early voting. There are no dates available right now, please check back later.

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.
  • For more information, please visit VoteRiders.

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.
  4. When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.

Election Day registration

Washington, D.C. does offer registration on Election Day.

See what's on the ballot

Learn more about what will be on your ballot by visiting Ballotpedia.

Get step-by-step help

TurboVote 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!

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:
  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. .
  4. Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive 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 Washington, D.C.. You can also call 1-800-438-VOTE or email vote@fvap.gov

Check your voter registration status

You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using Washington, D.C.'s voter registration lookup tool.

Election contact information for Washington, D.C.

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

Phone Number:
(202) 727-2525


Do you have feedback on the content you see here? From an incorrect date to insight on a rule change, we’d love to hear from you! Please fill out this form to share with us. Thank you!