Polls open in DC as voters decide council, congressional and presidential primary contests

Poll workers await D.C. voters during the District's primary voting center at Marie Reed Elementary School in Northwest D.C. (WTOP/Luke Lukert)

Visit WTOP’s Election 2024 page for comprehensive coverage. Stay with WTOP for the latest D.C. primary election updates.

D.C. voters are casting ballots in several primary contests Tuesday, with issues such as crime and affordability top of mind.

There are contested races for four D.C. Council seats. Voters will also decide the city’s Democratic nominee for president and choose nominees for D.C.’s delegate and shadow representatives in Congress.

Republicans in D.C. already held their presidential primary to comply with party rules, however there are several Republican candidates running in District races in this primary.

Polls opened at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Any voter in line by 8 p.m. will still be able to cast a ballot.

Even on primary day, voters can cast their ballot at any vote center, regardless of where they live in the city. Same-day registration is available in D.C., meaning residents can register to vote and cast a ballot at any Primary Election Day Vote Center. Anyone who wants to take advantage of same-day registration must provide proof of residence.

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Registered voters do not need to show ID to vote in person on primary day.

A list of primary day voting locations is available online.

What’s bringing people out to the polls?

Several voters at Marie Reed Elementary School in Northwest D.C. told WTOP they had no lines or delays when casting ballots Tuesday.

Luke Williams said he opted to vote in person after his absentee ballot never arrived in the mail.

He told WTOP voting was a “piece of cake,” and provided an opportunity to connect face-to-face with neighbors.

“You don’t want to miss your chance to, cast your vote in the way things are run,” Williams said.

He said he’s voting with crime, housing affordability and poverty in mind.

Rasheeda Williams said it’s important for voters to cast their ballots to influence local offices.

“It’s so important for us to exercise our rights, especially in crazy times like now,” she told WTOP. “We just want to make sure that we’re represented and that the people that are in office are reflecting our values.”

What’s on the ballot?

D.C. Council’s Ward 2, Ward 4, Ward 7 and Ward 8 seats are on the ballot, as is one of the city’s four at-large seats. Democrat and incumbent Brooke Pinto is running unopposed in Ward 2, while Ward 7 Council member Vincent Gray is not running for reelection, opening the door for a field of 10 Democratic candidates.

In Ward 4, two Democratic challengers have emerged to run against incumbent Janeese Lewis George, as is the case in Ward 8, which is currently represented by Council member Trayon White Sr. At-large Council Member Robert White faces one Democratic challenger.

The winner in each race will move to the general election, where the Democratic candidate is presumed to win in the deep-blue District.

For more on each candidate running for D.C. Council, click here.

Democrats in D.C. will pick their nominee for president, though President Joe Biden is already the presumed nominee.

D.C. Shadow Sen. Michael Brown is not pursuing a fifth term, and Democrats Ankit Jain and Eugene Kinlow are vying to fill the symbolic position.

Oye Owolewa is running for reelection as the District’s Shadow U.S. Representative, and is facing Democratic challenger Linda Gray. Republican challenger Ciprian Ivanof is running unopposed in the primary.

Eleanor Holmes Norton is also running for reelection as D.C.’s delegate, a position she’s held since 1991.

WTOP’s Luke Lukert reported from Northwest D.C.

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Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

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