by Elinor Stillman and Janean Mann
In DC, voters have no excuse for not voting. It’s easy and ID restrictions on registered voters imposed by some states do not exist here. Voters have a variety of options for the time, place, and manner of voting in the upcoming November 6th general election. They may vote in the time-honored manner on Election Day at their local precinct, by absentee ballot, or at specified location in person in advance of the election.
You can download an absentee ballot application at www.dcboee.org or by sending a letter of request to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics by October 30th. The letter must include your name, address, date of birth, the election or elections for which the request is made, the reason for the request, and the voter’s signature. The letter or downloaded application must be mailed to the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, 441 4th St. NW; Suite 250 North; Washington, DC. 20001. Any of a number of reasons may be cited, including illness or physical handicap.
Prior to November 6th, voters may vote in person from Monday, October 22nd, through Friday, October 26th at the Old Council Chambers at One Judiciary Square, 441 4th St. NW. The hours are between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Advance voting is also available at one satellite location in each ward during the same hours, from Saturday, October 27, through Saturday, November 3rd (but each location will be closed Sunday, October 28th). The satellite location for Ward 3 voters is the Chevy Chase Community Center at 5601 Connecticut Ave. NW, and the location for Ward 4 is 300 Van Buren St. NW.
On Election Day, polling stations will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Stations also have curbside handicapped voting where voters in their cars can summon poll workers at specially marked sites to bring them ballots.
Not registered to vote? You can register and vote a provisional ballot at your polling station on Election Day but you must present a driver’s license or utility bill showing your name and current address.
On the ballot this year for Ward Three will be candidates for president, vice president, nonvoting delegate to Congress, chair of the city council (special election to fill the vacated seat), at-large representatives on the city council and the State Board of Elections, U.S senator and U.S. representative (“shadow” senator and congressperson), and Advisory Neighborhood Commission representative.
The city has mailed cards to registered voters which specify the precinct in which that voter is registered to vote and the location of the precinct. Precincts for specific addresses can also be located at the Board of Elections website, www.dcboee.org or by calling (202) 727-2525.
You might also consider being a poll worker. The city is always in need of such volunteers. Service as a volunteer poll worker entails going through a training session, assisting in the precinct set-up the day before the election, and serving at the polls in an assigned position on Election Day. Poll workers receive a stipend of $120-160 depending upon the position they fill. To volunteer as a poll worker, you may apply online at the website noted above or go in person to the Judiciary Square Board of Election offices, Suite 250 North at 441 4th St. NW.
It’s easy to vote in DC, and your vote does count. Please vote.