U.S. Capitol Building
The U.S. Capitol Building (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)


47 Days to Election Day 2018 (Tuesday, Nov. 6)

The general elections, coming in the middle of President Donald Trump’s four-year term, will be historic, as an African American is on the ticket for governor in Maryland, Florida and Georgia. Additionally, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate are up for grabs.


Need-to-Know Info for Voters in D.C., Maryland and Virginia


Early Voting:
Oct. 22 – Nov. 2

Voter Registration Deadline:
Post Received by Tuesday, Oct. 16
In-Person, Received by Tuesday, Nov. 6
Election Day Registration & Voting Tuesday, Nov. 6

Request for Absentee Ballot:
Received by Saturday, Nov. 3

Absentee Ballot Deadline:
Received by Tuesday, Nov. 6, 8 p.m. EST

Register to Vote in D.C.:
Voter registration is available through the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), by mail or in person at the D.C. Board of Elections. Voters can also register at their polling place on Election Day.


Early Voting:
Oct. 25 – Nov. 1

Voter Registration Deadline:
In-Person, Received by Tuesday, Oct. 16, 9 p.m. EST
Postmarked by Tuesday, Oct. 16, 9 p.m. EST

Request for Absentee Ballot:
Request by Friday, Nov. 2, 5 p.m. EST

Absentee Ballot Deadline:
Postmarked by Tuesday, Nov. 6

Register to vote in Maryland:
In Maryland, you can register to vote online, by mail, and in person at your local Board of Elections. You can also process your voter registration at your local Motor Vehicle Administration office when you complete any driver’s license transactions.


Early Voting:
Not available

Voter Registration Deadline:
Monday, Oct. 15
Online by Monday, Oct. 15
Postmarked by Monday, Oct. 15
In-Person, Received by Monday, Oct. 15 5 p.m. EST

Request for Absentee Ballot:
Request for Postal Ballot by Tuesday, Oct. 30, 5 p.m. EST

Absentee Ballot Deadline:
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m. EST


Same-Day Registration

D.C. offers the opportunity to register to vote on Election Day at your polling place. Voters need to swear or affirm that they are a qualified elector and provide valid proof of residence, which may be a valid government photo ID, copy of a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government document that shows name and address of voter.

Maryland offers the opportunity to register to vote during the early voting period only at your polling place. To register, voters must have a Maryland driver’s license/state ID and proof of residency.

Virginia does not offer the opportunity to register to vote on Election Day.


Automatic Voter Registration

In D.C., automatic voter registration was approved in 2016, but the program has yet to be implemented. Neither Maryland nor Virginia automatically registers eligible citizens to vote when they go to a government agency such the DMV.


If You’ve Moved

D.C., Maryland and Virginia do not require registrants to live in the state for a specific amount of time before registering to vote.


Voting Rights Restoration

In D.C., the right to vote is restored upon one’s release from incarceration. Returning citizens must re-register to vote after their rights are restored.

In Maryland, voting rights are restored upon completion of one’s sentence. Returning citizens must re-register to vote after their rights are restored.

In Virginia, the right to vote is permanently lost for convicted felons and can only be restored by the governor.


Documentation Requirements

For D.C., Maryland and Virginia: When submitting a voter registration application, no additional documents are required for your registration to be processed. The state confirms your citizenship and eligibility through the information provided on your registration form, such as your state-issued license/ID number or the last four digits of your Social Security number.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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