Who can vote
- be a citizen of the United States
- be a 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 be in jail for a felony conviction
- not have been found by a court to be legally incompetent to vote
- *find more information on voting rights restoration here
Vote in person
Vote on election day
The District of Columbia voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 27, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
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 (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
- Request your mail-in ballot with a mail ballot application.
- Fill out the application completely.
- 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 (received by) Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
- When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
See what’s on the ballot
Get step-by-step help
Election Day registration
Military and overseas voters
- 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. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
- Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Following are recommended return dates to make sure your ballot arrives at your election office on time:
- 35 days before election – On a ship at sea: September 28, 2020
- 30 days before election – Outside of the US: October 2, 2020
- 11 days before the election – Stateside: October 23, 2020
- 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.
Check your voter registration status
Dates and deadlines
- Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
- The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (received by) Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
- The deadline to register in person to vote is Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
- The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
- The early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 27, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
- You can also register and vote on Election Day.