Tuesday is the day when Washingtonians will flock to the polling booths to cast their vote in D.C.’s Democratic primary. While incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray has long been considered the favorite to take the helm of the D.C. city government, the most recent poll from The Washington Post has placed Muriel Bowser in the lead with 30 percent support among the Democratic challengers. As a result, these April 1st D.C. primary elections are really anyones game. So make sure you get out there and vote, after reading these handy tips of course.

  • Find your polling place. The most important thing to know on election day is where you need to go to cast your ballot. The District of Columbia Board of Elections has a series of maps by ward showing the location of all the city’s precincts. There is also this widget that will tell you which polling place is closest to your home address.
  • Polls are open 7:00 a.m to 8:00 p.m. It’s always best to check on a precinct to precinct basis, but in general, all of D.C.’s polling places should be open through these hours. Expect longer lines during the morning and evening commutes as well as during lunch hours.
  • You can register to vote on the same day as the election. Don’t let someone prevent you from voting because you haven’t registered. You can do this in person at the polling vote. Just know that you have to register with an official political party to vote in a primary election, and you will have to provide proof of residency when you register, which can include anything showing your name and address, such as a D.C. driver’s license, utility bill, or bank statement.
  • Registered D.C. voters DO NOT have to show identification. Again, don’t let someone tell you you can’t vote if you don’t have a valid photo I.D. As long as you are already registered to vote in the District, giving the polling volunteers your name is legally sufficient.
  • Know who you are voting for. The Democratic primary will do more than just decide which Democratic candidate will progress in the mayoral race. It will also be a deciding factor for a number of council seats that don’t have Republican or third party opposition. You can find a complete list of candidates for all the open seats here. If you’re still on the fence about who two vote for in the mayoral primary, here is a handy breakdown of where each candidate stands on the issues.

Happy Election Day!

Image via Flickr