Election Day

When voting and submitting my ballot, how many chances do I have to make a mistake?

If you make a mistake, a polling place official will give you a new ballot. You will be limited to 3 ballots (one original, two replacements).


What is a "special ballot status?"

If an individual whose eligibility to vote in the election cannot be determined at an early voting center or at the polls on Election Day, he or she may vote by Special Ballot. Once the Board has determined that he or she is eligible to vote in this election, his/her vote will be counted.


What's the difference between a "Provisional Ballot" and a "Special Ballot?"

A provisional ballot and a special ballot are one in the same.


Under what circumstances does a voter use a Special Ballot?

You must vote using a Special Ballot if:

  • You have moved and are updating your address information.
  • If your name is not on the voter registration list but you believe you are a registered voter and eligible to vote in this election.
  • You registered to vote after the early voting period began at the Board’s office (approximately 15 days before an election).
  • You applied to vote absentee but you claim that you did not receive or vote your absentee ballot.
  • Your right to vote has been challenged by the Precinct Captain, by a registered voter, or by the D.C. Board of Elections for administrative reasons and that challenge has been accepted.
  • You are physically unable to vote at your assigned precinct because of age or disability.
  • In a primary election, you believe the party affiliation on the voter registration list is incorrect.
  • In a general election, you believe that the ANC Single-Member District listed on the rolls is incorrect.
  • You are a first-time voter who registered by mail but you did not bring the required documents with you.

How do I know which method of voting is right for me?

If you wish to view instructions on how to use the various forms of voting equipment, feel free to visit here. There you will find detailed instructions on each method of voting allowing you to decide which method suits you most.


Will I need to present and ID (proof of residence) prior to voting on Election Day?

Registered voters do not need to present proof of residence to vote, however some polling places require ID to enter the facility. It is therefore encouraged that you take some form of identification with you to vote.

If you will be registering during the early voting period or at the polls on Election Day, you will need to provide proof of residence in order to register and vote a special ballot. If you are a first-time voter who registered by mail and did not provide proof of residence when registering, you will need to show proof of residence in order to cast a regular ballot.

Acceptable forms of proof of residence include the following (must include the name and address of the voter):

  • Copy of current and valid photo identification
  • Copy of a current utility bill (does not include cell phone)
  • Bank statement
  • Government check
  • Paycheck
  • Or other government document that shows your name and address


What do I do if I make a mistake on my paper ballot and I've already submitted it to the machine?

If an error is made, the scanner should reject your ballot and you may take your ballot back to the ballot clerk and receive a new ballot.

Nevertheless, it is strongly advised that you carefully review your paper ballot before submitting it because if the scanner does not detect your error, your vote will not be counted for that contest.


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
  • Primary Election: 4/1/2014

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