Correction: The DC Board of Elections now informs us that the deadline for registered voters to change their party affiliation is Monday, May 16th.
Washington, DC is unique in that the primary election is the one that chooses our local elected officials. The general election is but a formality, in part because of our closed primary system (you cannot vote the ballot of another party), and because more than three-quarters of the District’s registered voters are registered as Democrats (see the DC Board of Elections stats here) – and vote that way, too.
As a result, voters registered with party affiliations other than Democrat do not have much of a say about who gets into office, and the 16 percent of DC voters who are not affiliated with any political party won’t get any say at all. (Greater Greater Washington has written eloquently on this issue a number of times. Here’s one take.)
In order to amplify your voice in local matters, you can lobby the Council to change the law. And in the short term, you can register as a Democrat. The last day to register to vote is May 27th. If you are already a registered vote want to change your registration, the deadline is Friday, May 27th.
Our David Bardin provided more information:
If you are registered as a Democrat, Republican or Statehood-Green party member in DC you will have a chance to vote in the June 14, 2016, primary elections of your party. If you want to change party registration, your deadline for mailing the form or completing the online form is Monday, May 16th. May 27th is the last day you can do it in person, at the Board of Elections headquarters, 441 4th Street NW (Red Line Judiciary Square station). See dcboee.org for details.
According to the Board of Elections, the only contested races are in the Democratic Party primary: for Presidential Nominating preference (Hilary Clinton, “Rocky” Roque De La Fuentes, or Bernie Sanders), At-Large City Council Member nomination (with David Garber and Robert White challenging incumbent Vincent Orange), plus contested Council member nomination races in Wards 4, 7, and 8.