Washington D.C.
Washington D.C.
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Responsive Gov’s Grade TL;DR

The District of Columbia received a “provisional” grade last year as legislation passed in 2022 had not yet completed the congressional review process as required before becoming law. As both of the council’s pro-voter improvements, including AVR expansion, officially became law this year, D.C. received an A on this year’s progress report.

Looking Back

Where D.C. Started at the Beginning of 2023

  • Automatic Voter Registration: Partial AVR
  • Online Voter Registration: OVR+
  • 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 2022 rankings, based on the number of pro-voter policies in place in 2022, we considered D.C. a top tier jurisdiction for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2023 activity against other top tier states.

How Our Tier Compares

  • COVI (2022): Not Rated
  • EPI Score (2020): 11th
  • CLC State Scorecard (2022): Not Rated
  • MAP Democracy Policy Tally (2022): MEDIUM

2023: This Past Year

Legislative Action

As noted above, the council passed two major pro-voter policies late in 2022, which were highlighted on last year’s progress report. However, due to the unique nature of D.C.’s governing system which requires congressional approval, they did not become law until earlier this year.

  • B 24-507 established 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.
  • B24-0951 expanded 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 simply appear at the polls and then activate their registration by voting.