District of Columbia Absentee Ballot Guide

Last updated March 22, 2016
Military and Overseas voters should visit the Overseas Vote Foundation. Long Distance Voter's information should only be used by voters with US mailing addresses.

Important deadlines

  • Voter Registration Form: Postmarked 30 days before the election; on election day (in person)
  • Absentee Ballot Application: Received by the Tuesday before the election
  • Voted Absentee Ballot: Postmarked by election day and received within 10 days of the election. 

How to vote by absentee ballot

Register to vote

  • Recommended: Use our Voter Registration Tool Enter your information, print and sign the completed form, and mail it to the address printed on the form.  
  • You can register to vote and apply for your absentee ballot at the same time.  Put your completed voter registration form and your completed absentee ballot application in the same envelope and mail both to the DC Board of Elections and Ethics.  Both forms must be received by the voter registration deadline (at least 30 days before the election).

Verify your voter registration

It's best to verify your voter registration before applying for your absentee ballot.  If there's a problem with your registration, register again before proceeding.

NOTE: Most people receive their voter registration cards in the mail 2-3 weeks after registering to vote. Don't worry if you lost or never received it. You don't actually need your voter registration card to vote.

Make sure you're eligible to vote by absentee ballot

Good news! As of August 1, 2010, you no longer need an excuse to vote by absentee ballot in DC.  Any DC voter can vote by absentee ballot.  

Apply for your absentee ballot

DC creates a new absentee ballot application for each election year. Here's the 2016 District of Columbia Absentee Ballot Application.  

Download, complete, and mail your application to the DC Board of Elections and Ethics.  The address is on the form.  Don't forget to sign your application!

Complete and return your voted absentee ballot

Absentee ballots are straightforward.  Fill in your ballot, sign where indicated on the outer envelope, and return your voted absentee ballot to the DC Board of Elections before the deadline.  

Additional Information

District Election Website: http://www.dcboee.org/
Local Election Officials: Your Local Election Official is the best person to contact if you have voting-related questions.  They'll be able to provide up-to-date information on rules and deadlines.


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