DC primary election guide 2016

WASHINGTON — Democrats in D.C. will head to the polls on Tuesday to choose their party’s nominee for president and for several District Council seats.

Republicans and the D.C. Statehood Green party will also hold a primary but have no contested races. D.C. Republicans will also choose ward chairs and national committee candidates.

Find a sample ballet specific to a party or ward on the D.C. Board of Elections site.

When and where to vote

The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Voters can find their polling location here.

Voters who have moved within the District but have not updated their voter registration information will have to vote at the precinct associated with their old address, said election board spokeswoman Margarita Mikhaylova.

New mobile app

The D. C. Board of Elections has a new mobile app that voters can use to look up information on Election Day. The board’s mobile app is free and available in the app store for iPad and iPhone users and in the Google Play store for Android device users.

Search for “Vote4DC” to download the app. PC users can download the app using any web browser here.

New voting equipment

The 2016 primary election marks the first time that D.C. voters will use new voting equipment. The new system is expected to speed up check-in for voters and provide faster vote tabulation, board spokeswoman Mikhaylova said.

The new equipment still uses an optical scan machine that tabulates votes. But the ballots can either be marked with a pen or with the help of a new device that will guide voters with disabilities through the ballot, mark their choices and print out a completed ballot.

The new equipment will also allow poll workers to wirelessly transmit election results from precincts to the board once the polls have closed. That should speed up the vote-counting process, Mikhaylova said.

Election workers will check in voters using an electronic poll book access on an iPad. Election workers will be able to scan Department of Motor Vehicles-issued ID cards or voter registration cards to pull up the correct voter instantly. They can also use the manual search option to quickly identify voters. On Election Day, election workers will also be able to direct voters who show up at the wrong polling place to the correct one.

Voters will still submit a signature, but they will sign the tablet instead of a paper poll book, Mikhaylova said.

The electronic poll books have streamlined the check-in process during early voting, she said.

About 15,000 voters cast their ballots as of late Friday afternoon. Early voting ended Saturday. More than 300,000 registered voters are eligible to vote Tuesday.

Races on the ballot for all wards


Democratic voters throughout the District will choose a candidate to nominate for president — the last primary in the nation. Although both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have secured enough delegates to secure their party’s nomination, Bernie Sanders is still actively campaigning in D.C. Here are the candidates:

  • Hillary Clinton
  • “Rocky” Roque De La Fuente
  • Bernie Sanders

D.C. Republicans cast their ballots in the presidential contest in March. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio won 10 delegates and Ohio Gov. John Kasich won 9 delegates. Both candidates have since ended their campaigns.

US. House of Representatives

Democrats will choose a delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives in this year’s primary election. Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton is running for re-election unopposed. She’ll face Statehood Green candidate Natale Stracuzzi in the fall. Republicans have not selected a candidate for the seat.

D.C. Council At-Large

Voters across the District will choose a candidate for one at-large council seat. Here’s a look at the race broken down by party.


  • David Garber
  • Vincent Orange- incumbent
  • Robert White


  • Carolina Celnik

Statehood Green:

  • G. Lee Aikin

U.S. Representative “Shadow Representative”

For Democrats, Franklin Garcia is running for the shadow representative position unopposed. Republicans have not put forward a candidate.

Ward 2

For Democrats, current Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans is running unopposed. Republicans have not put forward any candidates.

Ward 4

For Democratic voters, the following candidates are on the ballot:

  • Leon T. Andrews Jr.
  • Ron Austin
  • Calvin H. Gurley
  • Brandon Todd — incumbent

Ward 7

Former Mayor Vincent Gray is hoping for a political comeback and to win back his old seat on the Council. He lost his 2014 re-election bid in a primary challenge to Mayor Muriel Bowser amid the then ongoing federal investigation into his campaign finances. The investigation wrapped up last year after the U.S. attorney’s office said that Gray would not face any charges.

He will challenge current Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander.

For Democratic voters, the following candidates are on the ballot:

  • Yvette Alexander — incumbent
  • Delmar Chesley
  • Vincent Gray
  • Grant Thompson

Ward 8

For Democratic voters, the following candidates are on the ballot:

  • Maurice T. Dickens
  • Bonita Goode
  • Aaron Holmes
  • LaRuby May — incumbent
  • Trayon White

WTOP’s Amanda Iacone contributed to this report.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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