Washington D.C.
Washington D.C.
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Grade TL;DR

The grade given to the District of Columbia is provisional as legislation has not yet completed the Congressional review process as required before becoming law. However, because of the additional pro-voter improvements made over the last two years, including expansion on their AVR system, D.C. received an A on this year’s progress report.

Looking Back

Where Washington D.C. Started in 2020

  • Automatic Voter Registration: Front-End
  • Online Voter Registration: DMV ID
  • Same-Day Registration: Yes
  • Restoration of Rights: No Disenfranchisement
  • Vote by Mail: No-Excuse
  • Electronic Registration Information Center Member: Yes
  • Early Voting Opportunities: Regular Ballot Early Voting
  • ID Requirements: No Document Required

Although the Cost of Voting Index did not include D.C. in its 2020 rankings, based on the number of pro-voter policies in place in 2020, we considered D.C. a top tier jurisdiction for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2021-22 activity against other high tier states.

How Our Tier Compares

2021: Two Years Ago

Legislative Action

The Council did not pass any significant election-related laws during 2021.

2022: This Past Year

Legislative Action

  • B 24-507 will establish a vote by mail system in the district whereby every eligible voter receives a mail ballot automatically. The Board of Elections will be required to establish at least 55 dropboxes throughout the district, adopt a vote center model for polling places, create a ballot tracking system, and establish signature verification rules. Although the legislation has been passed by the council and enacted, it has not yet undergone congressional review as required before it officially becomes law.
  • B24-0951 will expand the existing automatic voter registration system by creating a “preapproved” voter registration list that includes eligible D.C. residents that have provided documentation establishing citizenship to the DMV or Medicaid. These individuals can appear at the polls and activate their registration simply by voting, without the need for same-day registration. This legislation has been passed by the council and is currently pending with the mayor.