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District of Columbia Voting Guide

The voting process in Washington, D.C. is different from the rest of the nation. Although the District of Columbia has a larger population than some states, it is not legally a state. Because Washington, D.C. is not a state, its residents do not have the same voting rights as other Americans. Learn how to register, where to vote, and more in this guide.

The citizens of Washington, D.C. do not have representatives in Congress, but they do elect local officials, and the voting processes in local elections, for the most part, are similar to the voting processes in other areas of the county.

Am I eligible to vote in Washington D.C.?

You are eligible to vote in Washington, D.C. if you:

  • Are a citizen of the United States of America
  • Have been a resident of the District of Columbia for at least 30 days prior to Election Day
  • Are at least 18 years of age on Election Day (You can, however, pre-register to vote at 16. You can also vote in primary elections at 17, if you will be 18 by the general election.)

You are ineligible to vote if you:

  • Are a felon serving a prison sentence
  • Have been judged by a court of law to be legally incompetent
  • Are not a voting resident of another state or territory in the U.S.

Where Do I Vote?

Find your D.C. voting place through the Board of Elections (click on "Find Out Where to Vote" below).

How to Register in Washington, D.C.

There are several ways to register to vote in Washington, D.C. This includes registering:

In Person

Complete registration in-person at the D.C. Board of Elections.


Register on the D.C. Board of Elections' Vote4DC website.

At the Polls

Bring proof of residence for same-day voter registration at the polls.

By Mail

Mail your voter registration application to the D.C. Board of Elections.

Voting Resources

Your vote counts. Take the time to learn how and when to vote.


Protect Your Voting Rights

Contact a qualified attorney if you suspect your rights have been violated.

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