Yes, actually, you can vote

Several students were turned away at the polls today in D.C.’s at-large council election because their names didn’t appear on the voter rolls and they lacked sufficient papers (i.e. a photo ID + a government, school, bank, etc. document or other bill attesting a DC address) to prove residency.

Students should have been offered special or provisional ballots that will be counted about a week after the election. As of 4:30 p.m. this afternoon, election officials were simply telling people that they could not vote. Vox called the DC Board of Elections and Ethics, and officials promised to contact the polling places and clarify their policy.

Under the election law, you have the right to cast a special ballot in all cases. If you cast a special ballot, it is your responsibility to follow up with DCBOEE with the appropriate documents to prove your eligibility as is outlined in the voting guide:

“To find out if a portion or your entire ballot was counted, you may call the Board at 866- 328-6837 on the Tuesday following Election Day or visit If your ballot is rejected and you decide that you want to appeal, you may call 202-727- 2194 to schedule a hearing between 8 and 10 days after the election. If the Board accepts your appeal, your ballot will be counted after the hearing. If you do not win your appeal, you have three days to appeal the Board’s decision to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.”

Polls close at 8:00 p.m. today, so there is still time left to cast your ballot. If you are a D.C. resident and someone challenges your right to vote, call DCBOEE at 202-727-2194.

2 Comments on “Yes, actually, you can vote

  1. Ridiculous. I swear, if people say GU shouldn’t get two seats on the ANC because we aren’t registered to vote in sufficient numbers, it’s things like this that demonstrate why that’s the case.

    Especially given that it seems virtually impossible to vote if you have a 3700 O St Address, I wonder if a case could be made that forbidding students to live off-campus is a form of disenfranchisement

  2. Basically this is what happened to me. I registered in January, and the BOEE website told me I should vote at Precinct 6 (Duke Ellington School) and that I was officially registered. When I went in today, my name wasn’t on the rolls and I ultimately did get to vote with a Special Ballot.

    I don’t know what the deal is with students not getting on the rolls, especially after having registered so far in advance. I’ve heard of at least two other people having this same problem.

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