The D.C. Board of Elections announced it will open a voting supercenter east of the river after facing criticism from residents of Wards 7 and 8.
The District will open six voting supercenters, with the Capital One Arena, Nationals Park and now the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Ward 8 among them.
"The thought was to try to be able to find places that we could process large numbers of people at one time," said Michael Bennett, chair of the D.C. Board of Elections. "In fact, the very first place we thought of was east of the river in Ward 7 and 8."
Bennett said the board identified the Entertainment and Sports Arena, home of the Washington Mystics, as a potential site but was told it was unavailable.
EventsDC changed course Wednesday, saying it would reschedule programming to future dates.
The equipment and machines assigned to the Barry Farm Recreation Center will be used at the Entertainment and Sports Arena instead, and Barry Farm will not be open as a voting center.
“While we’ve had to shift some resources around to make this happen, it will not impact voting opportunities in any way and in fact, we believe, will make it easier for voters to easily and safely cast their ballots,” Bennett said in a release issued Friday.
The Entertainment and Sports Arena will be open for voting from the beginning of early voting Oct. 27 through Election Day Nov. 3.
Almost 20,000 people in Wards 7 and 8 voted in the June primary, which was plagued by long lines.
Regardless of how you choose to cast your ballot, don't wait, Bennett said.
"We don't have election day; we have election week. So, we are pushing for people to consider this election week and vote as early as possible," Bennett said.
If you choose to do it, in-person early voting in D.C. starts Oct. 27.
Voting Sites in D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia
Early voting centers are highlighted in blue or purple. Not all voting sites in Virginia are listed in the map. Click here to find more polling centers in Virginia.
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections
Credit: Anisa Holmes/NBC Washington