DC Board of Elections (DCBOE) enouraged DC Voters to request mail-in ballots for both the June 2 Primary Election and the Ward 2 Special Election on June 16.
District voters can already request a mail-in ballot for any reason, but the District is taking additional steps to encourage people to use this option, while still maintaining some in-person Vote Centers. “These are smart steps to protect the fundamental right to vote while adapting to unprecedented health and safety concerns,” said Councilmember Charles Allen, Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, which has oversight over DCBOE.
DCBOE already has a process by which absentee ballots can be requested, and voters are encouraged to do so. They will be ready to mail by May 1 and should be received by early May. Voters return ballots by mail using included prepaid envelopes.
The number of early voting locations will also be expanded from 15 to 20, and citizens will be able to use any site regardless of their home address. 15 sites are likely to be the early voting sites with which most voters are familiar, said DCBOE Chair Michael Bennett.
Vote centers will be open for the primary election from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 22 through June 2, and for the special election June 12- 16. Those who must vote in-person will be asked to voluntarily stagger their voting times, probably by alphabet, Bennett said.
Absentee votes will have to be requested rather than be mailed to all voters, in part because of the need to comply with stringenet rules and regulations governing their conduct. “Even one mistake can wreck your whole election,” said the DCBOE Chair.
Howver, the DCBOE encourages citizens to reserve those sites for people unable to request a mail-in ballot, because the sites will adhere to social distancing guidelines and strict enforcement of public health guidelines and accessibility requirements.
According to the February report issued by the DCBOE, 497,440 voters were registered to vote in the District. Bennett said that he had been advised moving to mail-in voting is a process that should be phased in over two years.
Voters can track the status of their mail ballots on the Board’s website, and a replacement ballot can be requested if one is lost. Mail ballots can be mailed in any time before the election, can
You can also downloate the Vote4DC app on Google Play or the App Store.