Loose Lips

Dear Votemaster: What’s Up With Early Voting?

votemaster_graphicWith changes initiated by the Omnibus Election Reform Act of 2009, D.C. voters will be confronting a few new ballot procedures and ways to ease the voting process for the upcoming Sept. 14 primary. Early voting will start Monday!

Between now and the primary, we'll explore a number of questions we think many voters will have on their minds as they get ready to cast their ballot. And with "Dear Votemaster," feel free to send in your questions here.

The website of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has a good primer on all the rules and regulations, but let's get to some questions.

What's this early voting all about? What can I do to avoid the lines at polling stations on Sept. 14?

As part of the election reforms, D.C. voters will have the opportunity to cast a ballot before the official primary day. Starting Monday, you can head down to One Judiciary Square (441 4th St. NW; take the Red Line to Judiciary Square and use the 4th Street exit). Early voting at One Judiciary Square starts at 8:30 a.m. and wraps up at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Sept. 4, four additional early-voting locations will open around the city:

  • Chevy Chase Community Center
    5601 Connecticut Ave. NW
  • Hine Junior High School
    335 8th St. SE
  • Southeast Tennis and Learning Center
    701 Mississippi Ave. SE
  • Turkey Thicket Recreation Center
    1100 Michigan Ave. NE
  • Early voting centers WILL be open on Sept. 6 (Labor Day), but WILL NOT be open on Sunday, Sept. 5 and Sept. 12.

    I'm a Republican. Are there any contested GOP primaries, for any seat, anywhere in D.C.?

    In a city where the number of registered Democrats significantly eclipses the number of registered Republicans, it's always an uphill climb for members of the GOP. While there are Republican candidates on the ballot for U.S. House delegate (Missy Reilly Smith), shadow representative (Nelson Rimensnyder), Ward 1 councilmember (Marc Morgan), Ward 3 councilmember (Dave Hedgepeth), Ward 5 councilmember (Tim Day), and Ward 6 councilmember (Jim DiMartino), for those Republicans itching to have a competitive party primary, Sept. 14 should prove to be a very boring day at the polls. No nomination is contested!

    Maybe we should initiate a last-minute write-in campaign for Carol Schwartz, just to jazz up the GOP contest? The former At-Large D.C. councilmember could probably take down Missy Reilly Smith for the GOP nomination for delegate! If any of our readers in Rehoboth spot Carol this weekend, please be sure plant this idea in her head.

    We'll have more questions—and answers—on Monday.

    ...