Election 2020 DC voter guide: What to know

D.C. residents won’t only be casting a ballot for the U.S. president this November amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are a variety of candidates in the 2020 general election, including those vying for D.C. Council seats (at-large and Wards 2, 4, 7 and 8) and the District’s nonvoting U.S. House delegate.

Here’s what you need to know.

Register to vote

D.C. allows same-day voter registration during early voting and on Election Day.

The D.C. Board of Elections provides registration forms online. The deadline to register online is 21 days before the election: Oct. 13.

Vote Safe DC

The District is heavily promoting its Vote Safe DC initiative during the fight against COVID-19.

Registered voters do not have to request an absentee ballot to vote by mail. All active voters should have received a ballot at their registered address.

For the 2020 general election, registered residents do not have to vote at their assigned polling places.


Where and when to vote

D.C.’s mail ballot drop boxes are available until 8 p.m. on Election Day. Here are the ballot drop box locations in D.C. Voters can drop a mail-in ballot at any box.

Early voting centers are open from Oct. 27 to Nov. 2, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Vote centers are open Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The District has a searchable map online for voters.

DC Council at-large candidates

The race for the D.C. Council’s two at-large seats has drawn a whopping number of candidates:

DC Council Ward 2

DC Council Ward 4

DC Council Ward 7

Democratic incumbent Vincent Gray is running unopposed.

DC Council Ward 8

US House delegate (nonvoting)

Incumbent D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat, faces several challengers:

Shadow Senator

Shadow senators are recognized by D.C. but not officially sworn into Congress or seated in the Senate. Learn what shadow senators do.

Incumbent Democrat Paul Strauss is looking to hold his seat against Republican candidate Cornelia Weiss and Green Party candidate Eleanor Ory.

Shadow Representative

Shadow representatives are recognized by D.C. but not officially sworn into Congress or seated in the House. D.C.’s current shadow rep, Franklin Garcia, is running for an at-large D.C. Council Seat.

  • Oye Owolewa (D)
  • Joyce Robinson-Paul (G)
  • Sohaer Rizvi Syed (I)

DC Board of Education

Five of the nine seats on D.C.’s Board of Education are up for grabs in November.

Listed candidates are all nonpartisan.

At-large candidates:

  • Dorothy Douglas
  • Christopher W. Martin
  • Troy Murphy
  • Jacque Patterson
  • Ravi Perry
  • Mysiki Valentine

Ward 2 candidates:

  • Allister Chang
  • Christopher Etesse
  • James Harnett
  • Sarah Mehrotra

Ward 4 candidates:

Frazier O’Leary Jr. is running unopposed.

Ward 7 candidates:

  • Karen Williams
  • Charles Boston
  • Dontrell Smith
  • Patricia Stamper
  • Eboni-Rose Thompson

Ward 8 candidates:

  • Lajoy Johnson-Law
  • Carlene Reid
  • Ryan Washington
Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up