On or before Tuesday, November 3, Americans will cast their votes for their next President. Michael McDonald, director of the U.S. Elections Project, expects the greatest voter turnout in a century, projecting that votes cast in 2020 could total more than 145 million, up from 133 million in 2016. With these record numbers expected, now is the perfect time to plan when — and how — you’ll vote.
With Election Day less than a month away and many key deadlines approaching, we wanted to share all you need to know about voting in the DMV in 2020.
VOTING IN WASHINGTON DC
The DC Board of Elections is mailing every registered voter a ballot for the November 3, 2020 General Election. Residents can drop complete mail-in-ballots in any ballot drop box anytime beginning Monday, October 5 until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
DC residents can vote early in person. Vote Centers for the General Election will be open Tuesday, October 27 through Monday, November 2 from 8:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Early voting centers can be found here.
On Election Day, Vote Centers will be open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
VOTING IN VIRGINIA
To vote by mail in Virginia, request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is 5 p.m. on Friday, October 23. Virginia residents can request a mail-in ballot with a mail ballot application (filling out the application completely, following these detailed instructions.
Virginia voters can cast their votes long before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Friday, September 18 to Saturday, October 31. Exact dates and hours vary based by location.
All Virginia Election Day polling location hours are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those people in line to vote at 7 p.m. will be permitted to vote. No one arriving at the polls after 7 p.m. is permitted to vote.
Be sure to bring your ID! Check this list for a list of acceptable forms of identification.
Here are some additional details on voting in local Virginia jurisdictions:
City of Alexandria
In-person absentee (or early) voting begins on Friday, September 18 and continues through Saturday, October 31. Early voting locations are the Office of Voter Registration & Elections (132 North Royal Street, Suite 100), Beatley Library (5005 Duke Street), Minnie Howard School (3801 W. Braddock Road – Saturdays Only), and George Washington School (1005 Mount Vernon Avenue – Saturdays Only).
Alexandria residents can find their voting district and polling locations here.
Early voting in Arlington County is offered in five locations. Voting at the Courthouse Plaza location begins September 18. Voting at the other four locations (the Aurora Hills, Langston- Brown, Madison, and Walter Reed Community Centers) begins October 17. Details and hours can be found here.
Each of Arlington’s 54 precincts offers an Election Day polling place. Find your location here.
Early voting is underway (weekdays only) in Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA 22035) is the only early voting location until October 14, when additional sites will open. Any registered voter can early vote at any of these locations. These fourteen sites are the following government centers: Franconia, Mason, McLean, Mount Vernon, North County, Providence, Sully and West Springfield and the Centreville Regional, Herndon Fortnightly, Thomas Jefferson, and Tysons-Pimmit Libraries, as well as Laurel Hill Golf Course.
Registered Fairfax County voters can vote early, casting their ballot at any early voting site. You do not need to submit an application to early vote, but you must drop off a completed mailed absentee ballot to locations when they are open for early voting. Ballot drop-off boxes are located outside the voting room. The last day to vote early is Saturday, October 31.
Fairfax County voters can find their Election Day polling location here.
VOTING IN MARYLAND
Maryland voters can either vote in person during early voting or on Election Day or by mail-in ballot. Maryland voters must be registered by Tuesday, October 13. If you are registering to vote by mail, the envelope must be postmarked by this date.
Requests for absentee ballots must be received by Tuesday, October 20. To vote by mail in Maryland, you must request a ballot. Requests must be received (not just mailed) by this date. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by November 3 if returned by mail or received in person by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
. Early voting centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. Anyone in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote. Find your polling location here.
Here are some additional details on voting in local Maryland jurisdictions:
Residents can also call the Montgomery County 24-hour voter hotline at 240-777-VOTE.
Prince George’s County
View early voting and Election Day locations can be found here.
The Bottom Line
Voting in 2020 will be unlike any previous year! With a high-stakes Presidential election amidst a global pandemic, voting is more important than ever. Educate yourself now on how you’ll be voting in the DMV. It’s not too soon to plan how and when you will cast your ballot.