District of columbia

Guide to Voting

1. Voter registration

Deadline to Register/update: October 13, 2020

Online Link to Application: https://www.dcboe.org/Voters/Register-To-Vote/Register-to-Vote

2. Check Your registration

Why check your registration? Your address is where election officials send notices, application forms to receive your ballot in the mail, and more. Additionally, poll workers will check if the address on your voter registration matches the address on your ID at the polls.

Check Registration Here

Update Registration Here:


  • Is your name spelled correctly? (Correct hyphenations, middle initials, etc)
  • Correct Address
  • Active Voter Status (if not update by sending in another online/mail voter application)
  • Correct Date of Birth

3. Order your mail ballot

All ACTIVE voters will receive a mail in ballot at their registered address beginning the first week of october

Please be sure to check your registration and confirm you are an active voter and your registered address is correct.

You DO NOT HAVE TO REQUEST an absentee ballot. 

Only fill out this form if you want the ballot sent to a location other than your registered address: https://www.dcboe.org/Voters/Absentee-Voting/Request-an-Absentee-Ballot

Deadline to return absentee mail Ballot: Must be postmarked on or before Election day november 3, 2020, and must arrive no later than november 10, 2020

Track Your Mail-In Ballot Here:

If you don’t believe your mail-in ballot will be received on time, ballots can be mailed or delivered in-person to DCBOE offices, dropped off at any Early Voting Center until the published deadline, or dropped off at any polling place on Election Day.

Surrendering Your Absentee Ballot:

  • The District of Columbia does not have the Surrender Rule. However, the polling place official has some discretion to decide if you will vote with a regular ballot or “Special Ballot,” their term for provisional ballots.
    • People registering on Election Day to vote in person will vote with a regular ballot. If you bring your unvoted absentee ballot to surrender at the polling place, they may will accept it and allow you to vote with a regular ballot. If you don’t have that absentee ballot to surrender, however, and pollbooks show that you received an absentee ballot, you will be given a special ballot, which will be tabulated after Election Day.
      • Source: https://www.dcboe.org/Voters/How-to-Vote/Special-Ballot-Voting
      • “Voting by Special Ballot”
      • The Check-In Clerk will determine whether you are eligible to cast a live (regular) ballot or whether you must cast a Special Ballot (D.C.’s version of a provisional ballot), which will be tabulated after Election Day.
      • You may be required to complete a Special Ballot for any of the following reasons:
        You are marked as an “Absentee Voter”
        The pollbook shows you have received an Absentee Ballot for this election. If you have not already voted, your Special Ballot will be counted.

        4. Early voting information

        • The District of Columbia Board of Elections can allow voters to cast ballots at early voting poll sites not more than 12 days (October 22) before Election Day. For locations and hours visit https://earlyvoting.dcboe.org.
          • District of Columbia Board of Elections is mailing every registered qualified voter a ballot for the November 3 General Election.
            • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DC Board of Elections (BOE or the Board) has developed the Vote Safe DC campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to ensure that every vote is counted and that everyone, from voters to election workers, is safe. Visit the District of Columbia Board of Elections website for official and updated information: https://www.dcboe.org
            • For more information contact the DC Board of Elections online:https://dcboe.org and by phone 202.727.2525 or toll free 1.866.DC.VOTES.

            5. Be a poll worker

            6. Additional Questions?


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