Like everything else in the District, the 2020 elections are affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. The District of Columbia Board of Elections (DCBOE) encouraged all residents to request a mail-in ballot and vote by mail in the June 2 Primary Elections. Requests to vote by mail had to be received by May 26, and DCBOE must receive completed ballots by June 9.
How to Request a Ballot
The District of Columbia Board of Elections (DCBOE) is encouraging all residents to request a mail-in ballot and vote by mail in the June 2 Primary Elections. Every eligible voter can request a vote by mail.
The Board encourages ALL residents to request a mail-in ballot for the June Primary. Voters can request mail-in ballots:
- online at https://www.vote4dc.com/ApplyInstructions/Absentee
- via the DCBOE mobile app vote4dc
- by calling the DCBOE at (202) 727-2525 or (202) 741-5283, or by calling TTY at 711
- by fax at (202) 347-2648
- or by mailing or dropping off in person a ballot request form to: DC Board of Elections, 1015 Half Street SE, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20003.
Forms are available online at dcboe.org
DCBOE also mailed request forms to all registered voters in March and will send two forms and a postage-paid envelope in each Voter Guide by May 8. The guide is also available at dcboe.org/Elections/2020-Elections.
The last day to request a mail-in ballot for the 2020 June Primary elections is May 26. Mail-in requests must be postmarked by that day, and DCBOE must receive the completed ballot from voters no later than June 9, 2020.
You can track your mail-in ballot online at https://dcboe.org/Voters/Absentee-Voting/Track-Absentee-Ballot
Expect Lines, Guidelines when Voting in Person
You can still vote in person, but in the 2020 June primary election, there will not be the usual 144 precincts. Instead, DCBOE will operate what are usually the 15 Early Vote Centers and five additional, larger vote centers. These 20 voting places will be open from May 22 until primary election day June 2.
Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. On election day polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voting centers will be closed Monday, May 25 for Memorial Day.
To minimize lines for in-person voting, and to reduce numbers of people in these Voting Centers, DCBOE wants to stagger voting times by last name. This is only a suggestion; the DCBOE emphasizes that no voter will be turned away. It is an effort to mazimize social distancing. Voters are divided by last name and voting periods into a.m. and p.m. blocks. Voters with last names beginning from A to L and from M to Z are asked to come in on alternating morning and afternoon schedules. You can see the suggestion in the image below.
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, strict social distancing measures will be in place during line-up, registration or check-in and during actual voting at voter centers. Masks will be required to vote. DCBOE will also implement cleaning protocols on site. Only ten voters will be permitted inside voting centers at any time, with line markers placed 6 feet apart outside. Those voting in person will have to wait in line.
Same-day registration will still be available at these voting locations with a valid proof of residence. Valid proof includes: a copy of a current and valid DC DMV-issued ID, gov’t check or paycheck, bank statement, current utility bill, student housing statement/tuition bill, homeless shelter occupancy statement, lease, or other gov’t document that shows the name and address of the voter.
Since the DC Department of Motor Vehicles has extended the expiry date for all licenses and REAL identification cards, DCBOE has said they will accept as identification card that expired between March 31 and June 2.
The DC DMV has extended the exp. date for all driver licenses and ID cards exp Mar 1 through the duration of the public health emergency, we will accept expired driver licenses and ID cards that expire AFTER that date for same day reg/first-time voters who reg. by mail as well
— DC Board of Elections (@Vote4DC) May 19, 2020
While in-person voting is available, and nobody will be turned away, DCBOE says these voting locations should be reserved for those unable to request a mail-in ballot.
“These locations, while increasing in number, will adhere to CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19 and they should be reserved for those unable to request a mail-in ballot. It’s imperative that we protect our fellow citizens as well as the thousands of DCBOE volunteers and all of our employees,” said DCBOE spokesperson LaDawne White.
For more information, visit the DCBOW June Primary Voter Guide, available at dcboe.org/Elections/2020-Elections.