Your Guide to Early & Absentee Voting in the DC Area

Can't make it to the polls Nov. 8?

Residents in D.C., Maryland and West Virginia can vote early. While Virginia does not have early voting, residents in the commonwealth can participate in absentee voting. 

Here's a guide to early voting and absentee voting in our area: 


Early voting in D.C. ended Nov. 4. The District of Columbia Board of Elections website said 101,077 voters voted at the nine early voting sites. There are approximately 480,000 people registered to vote in the city.

Virginia does not allow early voting, but you can vote absentee (see below for details).

West Virginia early voting is available now through Nov. 5. Go here for more information and a list of early voting sites.

Maryland early voting ended Nov. 3.


Like voting deadlines, absentee ballot deadlines differ slightly from state to state.

If you're voting via absentee ballot in D.C., the Board of Elections must receive your request for a ballot no later than Nov. 1 (you can also apply online). Then, your completed ballot must be received by Election Day.

In Virginia, applications to receive absentee ballots in the mail must be processed by Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. (you can apply online here). The deadline changes to Nov. 5 if you're requesting a ballot in person, and you must have one of 19 valid reasons for voting absentee in person.

In Maryland, requests for absentee ballots must be received by Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. (here's a link to the form you'll need). You can also download an absentee ballot online, which must be done by Nov. 4. You'll have to postmark your absentee ballot by election day, and it must be received by Nov. 18. You can also hand-deliver your completed ballot to your local board of elections by 8 p.m. on election day.

In West Virginia, eligible voters may request absentee ballots by submitting their applications to their county clerks before Nov. 2. Any voter seeking an emergency absentee ballot has until noon on Nov. 8. Find other information on absentee voting in West Virginia online here.

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