Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–1001.14. Corrupt election practices.

(a) Any person who shall register, or attempt to register, or vote or attempt to vote under the provisions of this subchapter and make any false representations as to his or her qualifications for registering or voting or for holding elective office, or be guilty of violating § 1-1001.07(d)(2)(D), § 1-1001.09, § 1-1001.12, or § 1-1001.13 or be guilty of bribery or intimidation of any voter at an election, or being registered, shall vote or attempt to vote more than once in any election so held, or shall purloin or secrete any of the votes cast in an election, or attempt to vote in an election held by a political party other than that to which he or she has declared himself or herself to be affiliated, or, if employed in the counting of votes in any election held pursuant to this subchapter, knowingly make a false report in regard thereto, and every candidate, person, or official of any political committee who shall knowingly make any expenditure or contribution in violation of subchapter I of Chapter 11 of this title, shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $10,000 or be imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(a-1)(1) A person shall not knowingly or willfully:

(A) Pay, offer to pay, or accept payment of any consideration, compensation, gratuity, reward, or thing of value for registration to vote or for voting;

(B) Give false information as to his or her name, address, or period of residence for the purpose of establishing his eligibility to register or vote, that is known by the person to be false;

(C) Procure or submit voter registration applications that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent;

(D) Procure, cast, or tabulate ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent; or

(E) Conspire with another individual to do any of the above.

(2) A person who violates paragraph (1) of this subsection shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $10,000, be imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(b)(1) Any person who signs an initiative, referendum or recall petition with any other than his or her own name, or who signs a petition for an initiative, referendum or recall measure, knowing that he or she is not a registered qualified elector in the District of Columbia, or who makes a false statement as to his or her residency on any such petition, shall upon conviction be fined not more than $10,000 or be imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

(2) Any public officer, involved in any part of the election process, who willfully violates any of the provisions of § 1-1001.16 or § 1-1001.17, shall be fined not more than $10,000 or be imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

(3) Any person who: (A) For any consideration, compensation, gratuity, reward or thing of value or promise thereof, signs or promises to sign or declines to sign, or promises not to sign any initiative, referendum, or recall petition; or (B) pays or offers or promises to pay, or gives or offers or promises to give any consideration, compensation, gratuity, reward, or thing of value to any person to induce him or her to sign or not to sign, his or her signatures upon any initiative, referendum, or recall petition, or to vote for or against, or to abstain from voting on, any initiative, referendum, or recall measure; or (C) by any other corrupt means or practice, or by threats or intimidation, interferes with, or attempts to interfere with, the right of any qualified registered elector to sign or not to sign any initiative, referendum, or recall petition, or to vote for or against, or to abstain from voting on any initiative, referendum, or recall measure; or (D) makes any false statement to the Board concerning any initiative, referendum, or recall petition, or the signatures appended thereto shall be fined not more than $10,000 or be imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

(4) Any proposer or circulator of an initiative, referendum, or recall petition who willfully violates any provision of §§ 1-1001.16 and 1-1001.17 shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both. Each occurrence of a violation of §§ 1-1001.16 and 1-1001.17 shall constitute a separate offense. Violations of §§ 1-1001.16 and 1-1001.17 shall be prosecuted in the name of the District of Columbia by the Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia.

(b-1)(1) A person who, during the period beginning 30 days before any election or referendum, initiative, or recall and ending 4 days after the election, referendum, initiative, or recall, intentionally removes, defaces, damages, or destroys any lawfully placed billboard, poster, sign, or other material relating to any candidate for election for any office or to a referendum, initiative, or recall, shall be subject to imposition of civil fines, penalties, and fees for a civil infraction pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2 [§ 2-1801.01 et seq.].

(2) A person who violates paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be fined not more than $100.

(3) This subsection shall not apply to:

(A) The candidate for election;

(B) A sponsor of a referendum, initiative, or recall;

(C) The owner of the material;

(D) The owner of the premises where the material is located;

(E) Persons authorized and acting on behalf of the owner of the material or the premises; or

(F) Any person charged with enforcement of any law of the District of Columbia acting within the scope of his or her authority.

(c) The provisions of this section shall be supplemental to, and not in derogation of, any penalties under other laws of the District of Columbia.


(Aug. 12, 1955, 69 Stat. 704, ch. 862, § 14; Oct. 4, 1961, 75 Stat. 820, Pub. L. 87-389, § 1(24); Sept. 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 854, Pub. L. 91-405, title II, § 205(k); Dec. 16, 1975, D.C. Law 1-37, § 2(8), 22 DCR 3430; Apr. 23, 1977, D.C. Law 1-126, title IV, § 402, 24 DCR 2372; Aug. 18, 1978, D.C. Law 2-101, § 2, 25 DCR 257; June 7, 1979, D.C. Law 3-1, § 2(b), 25 DCR 9454; Mar. 16, 1982, D.C. Law 4-88, § 2(i), (n), (o), (q), 29 DCR 458; Sept. 22, 1994, D.C. Law 10-173, § 2(f), 41 DCR 5154; July 25, 1995, D.C. Law 11-30, § 2(d), 42 DCR 1547; Dec. 10, 2009, D.C. Law 18-88, § 201, 56 DCR 7413; Mar. 31, 2011, D.C. Law 18-330, § 2(c), 58 DCR 20.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-1318.

1973 Ed., § 1-1114.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-1001.02 and § 1-1001.07.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-88 added subsec. (b-1).

D.C. Law 18-330 added subsec. (a-1).

Cross References

Election campaigns, lobbying, and conflicts of interest, violation of laws, prosecutions, see § 1-1107.01.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 201 of Omnibus Public Safety and Justice Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-181, August 6, 2009, 56 DCR 6903).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 201 of Omnibus Public Safety and Justice Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-227, October 21, 2009, 56 DCR 8668).