DC 2020 primary voting guide: Everything you need to know

D.C.’s primary is on June 2, and it’ll work a little differently this year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

The D.C. Board of Election is encouraging everyone who can to request a mail ballot, but some polls will still be available for those who would rather vote in person.

Here’s everything you need to know.

  • Q: When is DC's primary?
  • Officially, D.C.’s primary is scheduled for June 2, with Ward 2 holding a special election on June 16 to replace former council member Jack Evans — but as the District fights the coronavirus, residents are encouraged to vote early (read on to learn how).

  • Q: How can I vote?
  • Eligible residents have two options: Voting by mail, or voting in person, which started May 22. To keep people from congregating at polling places, the D.C. government is strongly urging eligible voters to request mail-in ballots whenever possible.

  • Q: What's on the ballot?
  • Democratic voters are will weigh in on a number of races, including the presidential contest and in the closely watched race in Ward 2 where long-time former council member Jack Evans, who resigned in January before a vote by the council to expel him,is running to win back his seat.

    U.S. President

    • Joe Biden
    • Tulsi Gabbard
    • Bernie Sanders
    • Elizbeth Warren

    Biden is the only candidate still in the race.

    In Districtwide races, At-Large Councilmember Robert White; Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton; U.S. shadow Sen. Paul Strauss and shadow Rep. Oye “Taxfree” Owolewa are all running unopposed in the Democratic primary.

    Ward 2 Council

    • Jack Evans
    • Patrick Kennedy
    • Kishan Putta
    • Jordan Grossman
    • Daniel Hernandez
    • Brooke Pinto
    • Yilin (Ellen) Zhang
    • John Fanning

    Ward 4 Council

    • Brandon Todd
    • Janeese Lewis George
    • Marlena D. Edwards

    Ward 7 Council

    • Kelvin Brown
    • Anthony Lorenzo Green
    • Rebeccca J. Morris
    • Veda Rasheed
    • Vincent C. Gray
    • James Leroy Jennings

    Ward 8 Council

    • Stuart Anderson
    • Mike Austin
    • Trayon “Ward Eight” White
    • Yaida Ford

    Republican voters will see President Donald Trump’s name on the ballot.

    For the at-large council member seat, Republican Marya Pickering is running unopposed for the Republican nomination.

    In the Ward 2 race, Katherine Venice is running for the Republican nomination.

  • Q: Is there a voter guide?
  • Here is the voter guide. Voter guides that have been mailed out will contain ballot request forms with self-addressed envelopes and postage paid.

  • Q: Where can I change my address or check my registration status?
  • The deadline to update your registration online or by mail has passed, but Same-Day Registration is available during Early Voting and on Election Day. Remember, you will need to bring your proof of residence.

  • Q: Where can I vote in person?
  • Twenty locations across all eight wards will hold in-person primary voting from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. from May 22 through June 2 daily, except for Memorial Day. Election Day voting hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    See a full list of voting centers. Registered residents can vote at any of the 20 voting centers, regardless of which ward they live in. If you cast your ballot in person, you’ll be required to mask up and the board expects significant lines and delays.

    Residents can see which voting centers are open and what the expected wait times are for early voting sites on the D.C. Board of Elections website.

    Ward 2’s two voting centers will be open for its special election from June 12 to June 16.

  • Q: What are the deadlines to request and return my ballot?
  • The deadline to request an absentee ballot was May 26. The ballots themselves must be postmarked by June 2, and be back to the Board of Elections no later than a week after the primary. They can also be dropped off at an early voting center.

  • Q: How can I track my mail-in ballot and application?
  • Track your completed mail-in ballot using the Board of Elections’ online tool. Unfortunately, it doesn’t track applications, but the board said requests are processed on a rolling basis and advises voters to request their mail-in ballots as soon as possible to ensure they’re received on time.

  • Q: What if I don't get my mail-in ballot by the deadline?
  • Call the elections board at 202-741-5283 for more information. If there’s an issue with your mail-in ballot, you can still cast a vote in person.

  • Q: Will I get an 'I Voted' sticker if I vote by mail?
  • Asking the important questions, I see! As a matter of fact, yes, a sticker will be bundled with your mail-in ballot. This year’s design commemorates abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass.

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Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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