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D.C. early voting: How to vote early, but not often

August 30, 2010 - 04:57 PM
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Joseph Bishop, the first (Photo: Associated Press)

How to vote early, but not often. And let us know how it went for you.

Welcome to Election Day, Washington D.C. And by "Election Day," we mean "Election Fortnight" — two weeks of early voting that will lead up to the Sept. 14 Democratic primary for a bunch of city offices including, but not limited to, The Mayoralty.

This must be a confusing time for you, The Voter. There are, after all, lots of changes this election season. Like, what is early voting? (A: it is when you get to vote early.) How does it work? (A: You show up, then you vote. Early.) To make it easier, TBD has compiled this handy tip sheet, which we are calling TBD's Early Voting Guide for Voters Who Like To Vote Early. Alternate title: "Adrian Fenty: the (possible) Squeakquel."

Many of your answers to questions about early voting can be found on the District of Columbia Board of Elections and Ethics website. But in case you hate clicking on links, here's a few of the highlights, plus a few bonus questions:

Q: When can I vote?
A: Now! At least today. Between 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. If you are reading this at 7:01 p.m. and you're not already in line to cast your ballot, then you're out of luck.

Q: Where can I vote?
A: This week you can cast a ballot at One Judiciary Square, 441 4th St. NW. Starting Saturday, early voting locations will open at the 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), and Turkey Thicket Recreation Center (1100 Michigan Ave. NE).

Q: If I'm a registered Republican, why would I vote early or otherwise?
A: We have no idea. All the Republican primary elections are uncontested.

Q: Why would I vote early?
A: Sometimes people are busy on Sept. 14. Sometimes it rains on Sept. 14. And who wants to risk getting stuck in that?

Q: Is this going to be a pain?
A: Depends. Do you consider exercising your most basic American right "a pain"? Yeah, that's what we thought. The board has been updating its website and Twitter feed with wait times so you can plan your vote accordingly.

Q: I voted early. What should I do on Sept. 14?
A: We can't tell you how to live your life.

Q: I've been told to vote early and often (by a tweet from the Fenty campaign that was promptly deleted). How many times can I vote?
A: If this is your actual question, please don't vote at all.

If you have more questions about early voting or are experiencing voter problems, please tweet us! We love problems. Keep us posted on your experiences at the polls over the next few days. TBD can be reached at @slarimer or @kevinrobillard. Also @TBD. That might be easier to remember.

TBD will try to document this election from the first, strangely eager voters (like this guy) to the last, lazy soul. Godspeed, noble citizens!

Don't forget to claim your free sticker when you're finished.

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