Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–1001.10. Dates for holding elections; votes cast for President and Vice President counted as votes for presidential electors; voting hours; tie votes; filling vacancy where elected official dies, resigns, or becomes unable to serve.

(a)(1) The elections of the officials referred to in § 1-1001.01(1), (2), (3), or (4) shall be held, at the request of the party, during a primary election already scheduled for other purposes on the date requested; provided, that it does not interfere or conflict with applicable national party rules. The primary under § 1-1001.05(b) shall be held on the 3rd Tuesday in June of each presidential election year.

(2) The electors of President and Vice President of the United States shall be elected on the Tuesday next after the 1st Monday in November in every 4th year succeeding every election of a President and Vice President of the United States. Each vote cast for a candidate for President or Vice President whose name appears on the general election ballot shall be counted as a vote cast for the candidates for presidential electors of the party supporting such presidential and vice presidential candidate. Candidates receiving the highest number of votes in such election shall be declared the winners, except that in the case of a tie it shall be resolved in the same manner as is provided in subsection (c) of this section.

(3)(A) Except as otherwise provided in the case of special elections under this subchapter or § 206(a) of the District of Columbia Delegate Act, primary elections of each political party for the office of Delegate to the House of Representatives shall be held on the 3rd Tuesday in June of each even-numbered year, and general elections for such office shall be held on the Tuesday next after the 1st Monday in November of each even-numbered year.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in the case of special elections under this subchapter primary elections of each political party for the office of member of the Council shall be held on the 3rd Tuesday in June of each even-numbered year, and general election for such offices shall be held on the 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November in 1974 and every 2nd year thereafter.

(C) Except as otherwise provided in the case of a special election under this subchapter or by § 1-204.35(b), primary elections of each political party for the office of Chairman of the Council, Mayor and Attorney General shall be held on the 3rd Tuesday in June of 2018 and every 4th year thereafter, and the general election for such office shall be held on the 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November in 1974 and every 4th year thereafter.

(4) With respect to special elections required or authorized by this subchapter or by § 1-204.35(b), the Board may establish the dates on which such special elections are to be held and prescribe such other terms and conditions as may, in the Board’s opinion, be necessary or appropriate for the conduct of such elections in a manner comparable to that prescribed for other elections held pursuant to this subchapter.

(5) General elections of members of the State Board of Education shall be held on the 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday in November of each odd-numbered calendar year through 1987, and thereafter in each even-numbered calendar year, on the same day and month.

(b)(1) All elections prescribed by this subchapter shall be conducted by the Board in conformity with the provisions of this subchapter. In all elections held pursuant to this subchapter, the polls shall be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., except in instances when the time established for closing the polls is extended pursuant to a federal or District court order or any other order. The Board may, upon request of the precinct captain or upon its own initiative, if an emergency exists by reason of mechanical failure of a voting machine, an unanticipated shortage of ballots, excessive wait times, bomb threats, or similar unforeseen event warrants it, extend the polling hours for that precinct until the emergency situation has been resolved. Candidates who receive the highest number of votes, other than candidates for election as political party officials or delegates to national conventions nominating candidates for President and Vice President of the United States, shall be declared winners. If after the date of an election and prior to the certification of the election results, the qualified candidate who has received the highest number of votes dies, withdraws, or is found to be ineligible to hold the office, or in the event no candidate qualifies for election, the Board shall declare no winner, and the office shall become vacant as of the date of the beginning of the term of office for which the election was held. With respect to a primary election, the position of candidate shall be vacant until filled pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(2)(A) No person shall canvass, electioneer, circulate petitions, post any campaign material or engage in any activity that interferes with the orderly conduct of the election within a polling place or within a 50-foot distance from the entrance and exit of a polling place. The Board, by regulation, shall establish procedures for determination and clear marking of the 50-foot distance.

(B) A person who violates the provisions of this paragraph shall, upon conviction, be fined not less than $50 or more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than 30 days, or both.

(c) In the case of a tie vote, the resolution of which will affect the outcome of any election, the candidates receiving the tie vote shall cast lots before the Board at 12:00 noon on a date to be set by the Board. This date shall be set no sooner than 2 days following determination by the Board of the results of the election which resulted in a tie. The candidate to whom the lot shall fall shall be declared the winner. If the candidate or candidates fail to appear by 12:00 noon on said day, the Board shall cast lots for him or her or them. For purpose of casting lots, any candidate may appear in person, or by proxy appointed in writing.

(d)(1) In the event that any official, other than Delegate, member of the Council, Mayor, Attorney General, member of the State Board of Education, or winner of a primary election for the office of Delegate, member of the Council, Mayor, or Attorney General, elected pursuant to this subchapter dies, resigns, or becomes unable to serve during his or her term of office leaving no person elected pursuant to this subchapter to serve the remainder of the unexpired term of office, the successor or successors to serve the remainder of the term shall be chosen pursuant to the rules of the duly authorized party committee, except that the successor shall have the qualifications required by this subchapter for the office.

(2)(A) In the event that a vacancy occurs in the office of Delegate before May 1 of the last year of the Delegate’s term of office, the Board shall hold a special election to fill the unexpired term. The special election shall be held on the Tuesday occurring at least 70 days and not more than 174 days after the date on which the vacancy occurs which the Board determines, based on a totality of the circumstances, taking into account, inter alia, cultural and religious holidays and the administrability of the election, will provide the opportunity for the greatest level of voter participation. The person elected to fill the vacancy in the office of Delegate shall take office the day on which the Board certifies his or her election.

(B) In the event that a vacancy occurs in the office of Delegate on or after May 1 of the last year of the Delegate’s term of office, the Mayor shall appoint a successor to complete the remainder of the term of office.

(3) In the event of a vacancy in the office of United States Representative or United States Senator elected pursuant to § 1-123 and that vacancy cannot be filled pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Mayor shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Council, a successor to complete the remainder of the term of office.

(e)(1) In the event of a vacancy of an elected member of the State Board of Education, the Board of Elections shall hold a special election to fill the unexpired term of the vacant office. The special election shall be held on the Tuesday occurring at least 70 days and not more than 174 days after the date on which the vacancy occurs which the Board determines, based on a totality of the circumstances, taking into account, inter alia, cultural and religious holidays and the administrability of the election, will provide the opportunity for the greatest level of voter participation. The person elected as a member to fill a vacancy on the State Board of Education shall take office the day on which the Board of Elections certifies his or her election.

(2) Repealed.

(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (e) of this section, if a vacancy of an elected member of the State Board of Education occurs on or after February 1st of the last year of the term of the vacant office, a special election shall not be held and the State Board of Education may appoint a person to fill such vacancy until the unexpired term ends. Any person appointed under this subsection shall have the same qualifications for holding such office as were required of his or her immediate predecessor.

(g) A vacancy among the appointed Board members shall be filled within 45 days of its occurrence. The Mayor shall submit a nominee to the Council for confirmation within 30 days of the vacancy. Any Board member appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve until the end of the original term.


(Aug. 12, 1955, 69 Stat. 702, ch. 862, § 10; Oct. 4, 1961, 75 Stat. 819, Pub. L. 87-389, § 1(18, 19, 20); Apr. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 105, Pub. L. 90-292, § 4(7); Sept. 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 850, Pub. L. 91-405, title II, §§ 203(c), 205(e)(2); Dec. 23, 1971, 85 Stat. 792, Pub. L. 92-220, § 1(18)-(21); Aug. 14, 1973, 87 Stat. 313, Pub. L. 93-92, § 1(16)-(19); Dec. 24, 1973, 87 Stat. 834, Pub. L. 93-198, title VII, § 751(4)-(8); Aug. 29, 1974, 88 Stat. 794, Pub. L. 93-395, § 3(a); Sept. 2, 1976, D.C. Law 1-79, title V, § 504, 23 DCR 2050; Apr. 23, 1977, D.C. Law 1-126, title II, § 201, title IV, § 402, 24 DCR 2372; Aug. 18, 1978, D.C. Law 2-101, § 2, 25 DCR 257; Mar. 16, 1982, D.C. Law 4-88, § 2(h), (n)-(q), (s), 29 DCR 458; Sept. 26, 1984, D.C. Law 5-116, § 5, 31 DCR 4018; Mar. 16, 1988, D.C. Law 7-92, § 3(m), 35 DCR 716; Dec. 10, 1991, D.C. Law 9-49, § 2(b), 38 DCR 6572; Sept. 22, 1994, D.C. Law 10-173, § 2(e), 41 DCR 5154; July 18, 2000, D.C. Law 13-149, § 5(b), 47 DCR 4639; June 21, 2003, D.C. Law 15-18, § 2(b), 50 DCR 3389; Dec. 7, 2004, D.C. Law 15-218, § 2(e), 51 DCR 9132; Oct. 18, 2007, D.C. Law 17-26, § 2(c), 54 DCR 8018; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 218, 56 DCR 1117; Feb. 4, 2010, D.C. Law 18-103, § 2(h), 56 DCR 9169; June 16, 2011, D.C. Law 19-7, § 2(b), 58 DCR 3882; Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 501(g)(5), 59 DCR 1862; Dec. 13, 2013, D.C. Law 20-60, § 301(b), 60 DCR 15487; Dec. 17, 2014, D.C. Law 20-144, § 2, 61 DCR 8059; Mar. 3, 2015, D.C. Law 20-167, § 2(d), 61 DCR 10738; May 2, 2015, D.C. Law 20-273, § 2(f), 62 DCR 1938; Aug. 19, 2017, D.C. Law 22-13, § 2(c), 64 DCR 6245.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1314.

1973 Ed., § 1-1110.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-204.114, § 1-309.07, § 1-1001.08, § 1-1001.17, and § 38-2651.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-149 in subsec. (e), designated the existing text as par. (1), in par. (1) as so designated, substituted “a vacancy of an elected member of” for “a vacancy on,”, and added par. (2); in subsec. (f), substituted “a vacancy of an elected member of” for “a vacancy on”; and added subsec. (g).

Section 7 of D.C. Law 13-149 provided: “This act shall apply upon the effective date of the School Governance Charter Amendment Act of 2000.”

D.C. Law 15-18, in subsec. (a), rewrote par. (1), and substituted “on the 1st Tuesday after the 2nd Monday in September of each even-numbered year” for “on the 1st Tuesday in May of each even-numbered year which is a presidential election year, and in other even-numbered years, on the 1st Tuesday after the 2nd Monday in September” in par. (3)(A).

D.C. Law 15-218, in par. (1) of subsec. (b), inserted “, except in instances when the time established for closing the polls is extended pursuant to a federal or District court order or any other order.” following “7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.”.

D.C. Law 17-26 rewrote subsec. (a)(1), which had read as follows: “(a)(1) The election of the officials referred to in § 1-1001.05(1) shall be held on the 1st Tuesday after the 2nd Monday in September of each presidential election year. The elections of the officials referred to in § 1-1001.01(2) and (3), and of officials designated pursuant to § 1-1001.01(4), and the primary under § 1-1005(b) shall be held on the 2nd Tuesday in January of each presidential election year.”

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in subsec. (a)(1).

D.C. Law 18-103, in subsec. (b)(1), inserted “The Board may, upon request of the precinct captain or upon its own initiative, if an emergency exists by reason of mechanical failure of a voting machine, an unanticipated shortage of ballots, excessive wait times, bomb threats, or similar unforeseen event warrants it, extend the polling hours for that precinct until the emergency situation has been resolved.”

D.C. Law 19-7, in subsec. (a)(1), substituted “election year or the 1st Tuesday in April” for “election year or the 1st Tuesday after the 2nd Monday in September” and substituted “The primary under § 1-1001.05(b) shall be held on the 1st Tuesday in April of each presidential election year.” for “The primary under § 1-1001.05(b) shall be held on the 2nd Tuesday in February of each presidential election year.”; and, in subsecs. (a)(3)(A), (B), (C), substituted “shall be held on the 1st Tuesday in April” for “shall be held on the 1st Tuesday after the 2nd Monday in September”.

D.C. Law 19-124, in subsec. (e)(1), substituted “Board of Elections” for “Board of Elections and Ethics”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-60 substituted “or by § 1-204.35(b), primary elections of each political party for the office of Chairman of the Council, Mayor and Attorney General” for a comma and “primary elections of each political party for the office of Mayor and Chairman” in (a)(3)(C); substituted “authorized by this subchapter or by § 1-204.35(b)” for “authorized by this subchapter” in (a)(4); and substituted “Delegate, member of the Council, Mayor, Attorney General, member of the Board of Education, or winner of a primary election for the office of Delegate, member of the Council, Mayor, or Attorney General” for “Delegate, Mayor, member of the Council, member of the Board of education, or winner of a primary election for the office of Delegate, Mayor, or member of the Council” in (d)(1).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-144, in the first sentence of (a)(1), substituted “during” for “on either the 2nd Tuesday in February of each presidential election year or the 1st Tuesday in April of each presidential election year if there is” and “requested; provided, that it does not interfere or conflict with applicable national party rules” for “requested.”

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-167 substituted “State Board of Education“ for “Board of Education“ in (a)(5), (d)(1), and twice in (f); and rewrote (d)(2)(A) and (e).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-273 substituted “2nd Tuesday in June” for “1st Tuesday in April” in (a)(1); and rewrote (a)(3).

Cross References

Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, elections, see § 1-309.05 et seq.

Recall of elected public officials, filling of vacancies, see § 1-204.114.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(b) of Presidential Primary Election Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-43, March 24, 2003, 50 DCR 2805).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(b) of Presidential Primary Petition Waiver and Democratic State Committee Elections Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-135, July 29, 2003, 50 DCR 6857).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Presidential Primary State Committee Elections Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-258, December 5, 2003, 50 DCR 11011).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(e) of Help American Vote Emergency Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-283, December 18, 2003, 51 DCR 197).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(e) of Help America Vote Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-405, March 18, 2004, 51 DCR 3650).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(e) of Help America Vote Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-658, December 29, 2004, 52 DCR 492).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(h) of Omnibus Election Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-236, November 30, 2009, 56 DCR 9154).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 401(g)(5) of Board of Ethics and Government Accountability Establishment and Comprehensive Ethics Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-298, January 29, 2012, 59 DCR 683).

For temporary addition of (a-1), see § 2 of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-598, January 16, 2013, 60 DCR 1015), applicable upon the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan.

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Election Code Conforming Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-143, July 31, 2013, 60 DCR 11799, 20 DCSTAT 1990).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Party Officer Elections Emergency Amendment Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-210, November 7, 2013, 60 DCR 15781).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see §§ 2(b) and 3 of the Party Officer Elections Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-286, February 20, 2014, 61 DCR 1606).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(d) of the Special Election Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-617, Jan. 28, 2015, 62 DCR 1908, 21 STAT 794).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(b) of Presidential Primary Petition Waiver and Democratic State Committee Elections Temporary Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 15-55, December. 9, 2003, law notification 51 DCR 1790).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Presidential Primary State Committee Elections Temporary Amendment Act of 2003 (D.C. Law 15-97, March 10, 2004, law notification 51 DCR 3617).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(e) of Help America Vote Temporary Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Law 15-120, March 30, 2004, law notification 51 DCR 3807).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of the Party Officer Elections Temporary Amendment of 2013 (D.C. Law 20-72, February 22, 2014, 61 DCR 30).

For temporary (225 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-273, § 5, see § 21 of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-76, Feb. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 264).

References in Text

“Section 206(a) of the District of Columbia Delegate Act,” referred to in subsection (a)(3)(A) of this section, is § 206(a) of the Act of September 22, 1970, Pub. L. 91-405, and provided for the nomination and election of the 1st Delegate to the House of Representatives from the District of Columbia.

Editor's Notes

Voting accessibility for the elderly and handicapped: Public Law 98-435 enacted the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act.

Section 3(b) of D.C. Law 17-156 amended this section subject to congressional enactment of section 2 of D.C. Law 17-156. As of the publication of this note, congress has not enacted section 2 of D.C. Law 17-156.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-60: Section 401(b) of 20-60 provided that § 301 of the act shall apply as of December 13, 2013.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-273: Section 5 of D.C. Law 20-273 provided (a) that the act shall apply upon the date of inclusions of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan; (b) that the Chief Financial Officer shall certify the date of the inclusion of the fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, and provide notice to the Budget Director of the Council of the certification; and (c) that the Budget Director shall cause the notice of the certification to be published in the District of Columbia Register and that the date of publication of the notice of the certification shall not affect the applicability of the act.

The Budget Director of the Council of the District of Columbia has determined that the fiscal effect of D.C. Law 20-273 has been included in an approved budget and financial plan.

Section 7018 of D.C. Law 21-160 repealed § 5 of D.C. Law 20-273. Therefore the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 20-273 have been given effect.

Section 2(c)(2)(C) of D.C. Law 22-13 purported to strike language changed by D.C. Law 20-273 after it was included in an approved budget and financial plan. The amendment made by D.C. Law 22-13 has been given effect as if the amendment made by D.C. Law 20-273 had not been given effect.