Guide to Candidate Qualification and Ballot Access: Overview of Scheduled Elections

Primary Election (September 14, 2010)

The District of Columbia holds primary elections every two years for the major parties in the District to nominate their candidates for the partisan offices on the ballot in the general election. A major party is a party that has had one of its candidates for the office of Delegate, Mayor, Chairman of the Council, member of the Council, or elector for President and Vice-President receive at least 7,500 votes in the previous general election. Political parties that have not met this requirement are considered minor parties and may nominate candidates directly to the general election ballot.

To appear on the primary election ballot, candidates must meet both the legal requirements for the position sought and the requirements for ballot access, including filing a nominating petition containing the required number of signatures as described elsewhere in this Guide.

Note: Because the District has a closed primary system, only individuals registered with a major party will be permitted to sign nominating petitions for that party and to cast their party’s ballot in the primary election. New voters may register at the polls on the date of the election; however, voters may not cast a ballot in the primary if they were previously registered with another party or with no party in the 30-day period prior to the election. Proof of residence is also required to register at the polls on the day of the election.

Parties nominating candidates in the primary election:
Democratic
Republican
D.C. Statehood Green

Offices appearing on the ballot:
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
Mayor of the District of Columbia
Chairman of the Council
At-Large Member of the D.C. Council
Ward Member of the D.C. Council (1, 3, 5 & 6)
U.S. Representative

General Election (November 2, 2010)

The District of Columbia holds general elections every two years to elect qualified candidates to public office. The general election ballot includes the names of those nominated by the major parties in the primary election, along with independent and minor party candidates who are nominated directly to the general election ballot. The ballot also includes the names of candidates for nonpartisan positions. Candidates for partisan office appear with the name of their political party or ‘Independent’ next to their names on the ballot, while candidates for nonpartisan offices appear without a party designation.

To appear on the general election ballot, nonpartisan, independent and minor party candidates must meet both the legal requirements for the position sought and the requirements for ballot access, including filing a nominating petition containing the required number of signatures as described elsewhere in this Guide.

Candidates may only list a minor party designation on the ballot if the designated party has previously been approved as a minor party by the Board. The candidate must obtain approval of the party name, register with the party and list the name of the party on their nominating petition before circulation begins. A list of approved minor parties appears on the Board’s web site.

Partisan offices appearing on the ballot:
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
Mayor of the District of Columbia
Chairman of the Council
At-Large Member of the D.C. Council (two to be elected)
Ward Member of the D.C. Council (1, 3, 5 & 6)
U.S. Representative

Nonpartisan offices appearing on the ballot:
Ward Member of the State Board of Education (1, 3, 5 & 6)
Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner

DC Board of Elections
441 4th Street, NW, Suite 250 North
Washington, DC 20001
Tel: (202) 727-2525 | TTY: (202) 639-8916 | Tollfree: 1-866-DC-VOTES
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  • General Election: 11/4/2014
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