14 August 2010

Your guide to registering to vote in DC. Deadline is Monday!

Do you live in the District of Columbia?  If you don't live in DC, or otherwise can't vote in DC (you're a foreign national, you're registered elsewhere, you ignore everything I ever write) then feel free to ignore this.  But otherwise, please pay attention to the following:

September 14 is primary election day in DC.  If you're not yet familiar with District politics, you should know that many races, including the mayor's race, are usually decided in the primary (especially the Democratic primary).  Yet, to vote in that primary, you need to register!

The deadline for pre-registration for the primary election is Monday, August 16.  You can still register after that date, including on-site on election day, but will only be allowed to vote on a provisional ballot that may or may not be actually counted.  Thus it's still important to register to vote by Monday.  You should also note that Monday is the last day to change your party affiliation  (the options are Democratic, Republican, Statehood Green, or independent). 

Who should register (or change their registration)?  Anyone who is a new resident of DC or anyone who has moved within DC since the last election. 

How do you register?  Visit www.dcboee.org and click Register to Vote in DC or Update your Registration Info in the Voter box.   You'll be walked through some question and at the end will be presented with a nicely filled out form for you to print and mail (postmarked by Monday) or deliver in person to the DC BOEE, 441 4th St NW, WDC 20001.  You'll need to include proof of residency at the address you put down on the registration form.  This can be a pay stub, government check stub, utility bill, lease or copy of a DC driver's license/ID card.

What if I don't know if I'm registered?
  That's easy!  At the DC BOEE website, click Check Your Registration Status in the Voter box.  Just enter your name, address, and date of birth and you can find out. 

Thanks for your attention to this really important stuff.  Happy voting!

ETA:  I've received a few questions from folks asking for additional clarifying details.  Here you go:

I checked my registration status, and it says INACTIVE.  What do I do?  Your name was removed from the voter roll for one reason or another.  You need to register again.

I'm registered as a member of the Statehood Green Party.  Can I vote in the Democratic primary?  No, you can only vote in the primary for the party of which you are a registered member.  If you're not registered for the party for which you would like to cast a primary ballot, you MUST change your party affiliation by August 16 to vote in your preferred primary.  You CANNOT change party affiliation after that date.

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