Special Ballots in the District of Columbia

Special Ballots in the District of Columbia

Return to Election Data Dispatches.

In 2012, the District of Columbia issued voters an unprecedented number of special ballots—which are the same as provisional ballots, according to the city’s 2012 After-Action report. This was due in part to the city’s use of Election Day registration for the first time in a presidential election. (Washington launched its Election Day registration process for the 2010 midterm elections.) In the District, Election Day registrants must vote using special ballots.

In 2008, 10,517 special ballots were issued. In 2012, 38,636 were issued, an increase of 267 percent. Of the more than 38,000 special ballots, 15,561 were same-day registrants, and another 13,688 were issued for people who updated their addresses.

Officials cite the time required to process these voters as one cause of long lines at some polling places in November. The District had the nation’s second-longest average wait to vote at an average of more than 33 minutes, behind only Florida.

The front facade of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, DC.
ian-hutchinson-U8WfiRpsQ7Y-unsplash.jpg_master

Agenda for America

A collection of resources to help federal, state, and local decision-makers set an achievable agenda for all Americans

Quick View

Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest.

Lightbulbs
Lightbulbs

States of Innovation

Data-driven state policy innovations across America

Quick View

Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for difficult challenges. When states serve their traditional role as laboratories of innovation, they increase the American people’s confidence that the government they choose—no matter the size—can be effective, responsive, and in the public interest.