DC primary election guide 2018

WASHINGTON — Voters in D.C. will cast ballots in primary races for mayor, council and representatives in Congress, as well as a ballot question, all on Tuesday, June 19. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s on the ballot?

D.C. residents will cast ballots in several races for the D.C. Council: for chairman and at-large member, as well as ward members in wards 1, 3, 5 and 6.

They’ll also vote on candidates for mayor and attorney general, as well as for U.S. Representative and the District’s nonvoting members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

Only the Democratic Party has primary battles, and not even all those races are contested.

On the federal level, Kim Ford is taking on longtime incumbent Eleanor Holmes Norton in the race for delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.

In the Districtwide races:

In the wards:

Probably the most contentious provision on the ballot is Initiative 77, which does three things:

  • It raises D.C.’s minimum wage to $15 by 2020;
  • It mandates raises in the minimum wage in proportion to the Consumer Price Index starting in 2021;
  • Most controversially, it raises the minimum wage for tipped workers, such as wait staff and bartenders, so that by 2026 their minimum wage will be the same as other workers.

Currently, the minimum wage for such workers is $3.33 an hour, with the employer on the hook for bringing the worker up to minimum wage if tips don’t bring the worker there.

Proponents say the proposal would bring tipped workers a steady income and empower workers to refuse to put up with customer misbehavior; opponents say it would impose crippling costs on restaurant owners and that most tipped workers in D.C. make more than $15 an hour already.

While you can only vote in the primary of the party you’re registered with, any voter can vote on the question.

You were probably mailed a Voter’s Guide with a sample ballot; you can also find one at the D.C. Board of Elections website.


Where do I vote on Election Day?

If you’re voting on Election Day, you have to vote at your assigned polling place (as opposed to early voting, which you can do at any Early Voting Center). It’s listed on your voter registration card, but there have been some changes. D.C.’s Voter Guide has the changes on Page 46, or you can call the Board of Elections at 202-727-2525 or look on their website to make sure you know where you’re going.

When are the polls open Election Day?

Polls opened at 7 a.m., and if you’re in line before 8 p.m., you’ll get to vote. Absentee ballots have to be in to the Board of Elections (1015 Half St. SE) by 8 p.m. that day.

What races can I vote in?

You can only vote in the primary for the party in which you’re registered: the Democrats, the Republicans, the Libertarians and the Statehood Greens are the four parties who have primaries June 19. If you’re already registered, it’s too late to change parties.

When can I register?

You can make a same-day voting registration at One Judiciary Square or any satellite Early Voting Centers between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. through Friday, June 15. The centers are:

Ward 1: Columbia Heights Community Center, 1480 Girard St. NW

Ward 2: One Judiciary Square, 441 4th St. NW

Ward 3: Chevy Chase Community Center, 5601 Connecticut Ave. NW

Ward 4: Takoma Community Center, 300 Van Buren St. NW

Ward 5: Turkey Thicket Recreation Center, 1100 Michigan Ave. NE

Ward 6: Sherwood Recreation Center, 640 10th St. NE, and the King Greenleaf Recreation Center, 201 N St. SW

Ward 7: Deanwood Recreation Center, 1350 49th St. NE

Ward 8: Malcolm X Opportunity Center, 1351 Alabama Ave. SE

If you want to make a same-day registration, you need proof of residence. They’ll take any of these:

  • A current and valid District of Columbia DMV-issued ID
  • A utility bill for water, gas, electricity, cable, internet, telephone or cellphone service from March 21 or later
  • A savings, checking, credit or money market account from a bank or credit union from March 21 or later
  • A paycheck, stub or earning statement that includes the employer’s name, address, and telephone number from March 21 or later
  • A government-issued document or check from a federal or District government agency from March 21 or later
  • A current residential lease or rental agreement
  • An occupancy statement from a District homeless shelter from March 21 or later
  • A tuition or housing bill from a District of Columbia college or university issued for the current academic or housing term.

What about absentee ballots?

It’s too late to ask for a regular absentee ballot.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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