Today is Sunday, November 1, 2020. If you haven't voted yet in the General Election, time is running out, but the good news is your options aren't!
So far, more than 242,000 DC voters have cast their ballots - that's more than 75% of the vote total from 4 years ago! I'm really proud of everyone for Voting Safe and Voting Early! We voted as a family a couple of days ago and it was easy and fun! A big thank you to all our neighbors volunteering at the polls!
If you haven't yet cast your ballot, make a plan with the information below. My office is fielding a lot of questions from constituents about voting, and here are answers to a few common issues.
Can I still vote by mail?
Yes, you can still submit your ballot that was mailed to your home. But at this point, I advise you not to mail it back, but rather, submit it at one of the 55 Board of Elections drop boxes in the District or at an Early Vote Center at this point. Given some of the challenges the US Postal Service has been experiencing, that's the best way to ensure your vote is counted this close to the Election.
But if you did mail your ballot, don't worry! Earlier this year, I passed legislation extending the time for mail-in ballots to be counted up to 10 days after Election Day as long as it is submitted to BOE or postmarked by Election Day!
How can I know if my ballot has been received and counted?
The Board of Elections (BOE) is offering two ways to check on the progress of your mail-in ballot. Every ballot's mailing envelope (not the secrecy sleeve) has a unique code to track. That way BOE can track your ballot without knowing what votes you have cast. Be sure to check both. We have seen a lag of several days in the Board of Elections updating some of the tracking links due to the volume of ballots coming, but they recommend to check the links below regularly.
Board of Elections Ballot Tracker (previously used for absentee ballots): https://www.dcboe.org/Voters/Absentee-Voting/Track-Absentee-Ballot
The Board of Elections has also contracted with a company to assist with mail-in ballot tracking called BallotTrax: https://ballottrax.net/voter/
Early Voting Hours are 8:30 am to 7 pm
Early Vote Centers will continue to be open Sunday, November 1, and Monday, November 2. You can vote at any of them, any time between 8:30 am and 7 pm. I strongly, strongly encourage you to take advantage of early voting. You can vote at any Early Vote Center, not just the one closest to your home. Find the locations here and even check how long the line is before you go: https://earlyvoting.dcboe.org/
Please don't wait until Election Day if you can. Your vote counts all the same and it helps us avoid long lines of voters on Election Day, which could be a risk as we're seeing serious spikes in the spread of the novel coronavirus across the US.
Election Day, Tuesday, November 3 - Polls Hours are 7 am to 8 pm
If you need to vote in-person on Election Day, there are 95 Vote Centers that will be open throughout all eight wards. Polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm. This is your last and final opportunity to cast a ballot! Even with the best of preparation and planning, we do expect that there will be lines on Election Day. With so many people choosing to vote early, vote by mail, or using secure drop boxes, it should reduce lines like we saw during the primary, but please don't wait until the last minute to head to the polls if you can. Many people who have unique situations will likely be filing a provisional or special ballot, which takes more time generally. So if you're casting your normal ballot, try to take advantage of the many opportunities to vote before Election Day. Just like with Early Voting, you can head to any location to vote on Election Day. Find all of the locations here: https://www.dcboe.org/Voters/Where-to-Vote/Election-Day-Vote-Centers
I'm out of town through Election Day and I never got my ballot. Help!
I've heard from a few Ward 6 residents who aren't in town and never received an absentee ballot. First, if you requested a ballot be mailed anywhere but your primary address, I recommend having someone check to see if it was sent to your primary address by mistake. You'll need to connect with the Board of Elections to see what options you have: 202-727-2525. If you're having a hard time getting through though, let me know and I'll reach out to the Board directly for you.
Thanks again and remember, if you haven't voted yet, make a plan! Don't wait until the last minute and be stuck in line waiting.
I hope you and your family are safe and well. Keep wearing your mask!