D.C. residents will elect a new slate of local officials next Tuesday, Nov. 8. Mayor Muriel Bowser is expected to win a third term, but two council seats and a ballot measure are hotly contested. All D.C. residents still have the chance to vote, even if they’re not yet registered.
How to vote
Registered voters have several options for casting their ballots. They may visit an early or election day voting center, post the ballot they’ve received from the city in the mail, or visit any one of the 55 official drop boxes set up around the city.
From now until Nov. 6, all registered voters have the option e to visit one of 25 early voting centers, open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. On election day, Nov. 8, polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voters may cast their ballots anywhere in the city, regardless of where they live.
If voters have yet to register, they can do so in person during the early voting period or on Election Day at a voting center. Voters need to bring proof of residence, which can include a valid D.C. ID, recent paycheck or bank statement, homeless shelter occupancy statement, or lease.
The top office on this year’s ballot is the mayor. Given D.C.’s heavy Democratic bent, Bowser is expected to prevail over independent Rodney “Red” Grant, Republican Stacia Hall, and Libertarian Dennis Sobin.
Voters will select two of the eight candidates vying to fill the city’s At-large Council seats. Incumbents Anita Bonds and Elissa Silverman are hoping to fend off challenges from current Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, businessman Graham McLaughlin and government employee Karim Marshall, among others. Most of the candidates are running as independents since the two seats can not both be filled by Democrats.
Ballot Initiative 82 would eliminate a separate minimum wage for waiters, bartenders, and other service workers who rely on tips. They’re currently paid just over $5 an hour, and employers cover the difference if tips don’t bring their earnings up to minimum wage. Proponents of Initiative 82 say this system leads to wage theft and underpayment, while opponents say a tipped wage keeps costs down.
Residents will also vote for attorney general, council chair, delegate to Congress, and shadow representative, though none of the races are particularly competitive.
Residents of Wards 1, 3, 5 and 6 will also vote on council members and representatives to the Board of Education.
The most competitive council race is in Ward 3, where David Krucoff is hoping to make history as the first Republican to represent the area. His opponent, Democrat Matthew Frumin, is an attorney who’s been active in local politics for six years.
In the Ward 1 race, Democratic incumbent Brianne Nadeau is up against Statehood Green candidate Chris Otten, though an upset is highly unlikely. It’s a similar situation in Ward 5, where Democrat Zachary Parker is expected to beat Republican Clarence Lee Jr. The second incumbent, Charles Allen, is running unopposed in Ward 6.
Finally, voters will select representatives to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, though less than a quarter of those races are contested.