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Voting Registration Advice

by Prince Of Petworth February 3, 2016 at 2:30 pm 25 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user LaTur

“Dear PoPville,

I currently live in DC (Primary in June).
I am moving to Virginia on March 1st, but the deadline to register is Feb 8th.

So I wont live in DC in June, so can’t vote.
I wont live in VA on Feb 8th, so I can’t register. Therefore I can’t vote.

This has me really, really angry. What can I do? I want my voice heard!”


“I’m looking for information on how to change my party affiliation in order to vote in the primaries. I’m a DC voter. Does the PoPville community know if there is a way to do it online?”

  • GBinCH

    Is the first OP concerned about voting in the primaries? That’s the Feb 8th deadline to register to vote. For the presidential election, its is 22 days prior to the election.

  • DCMB

    The mover may well be stuck in limbo, unfortunately. My best advice is to encourage your friends and family, in both VA and DC, to make sure their voice is heard on primary day!

    The party affiliation question is easier to answer. Go here to update your status! https://www.dcboee.org/voter_info/reg_status/

    • OP#2

      Thanks!! Super helpful!

    • Timebomb

      As far as I can tell, the only option here for modifying your registration is to start a new one. Just an FYI if anyone else thought there’d be more specificity than that.

      • Jill

        I went through the process to start a new one to see if it would let me update my party affiliation and update my address through that link and it did. I didn’t have to start all over. Not sure if that answers your question.

        Also, thank you to DCMB for the info and OP#2 for the question! I had been wondering this myself.

        • Jill

          I apparently responded prematurely- sorry! When I got the confirmation email, it did submit a new voter registration form for me. It was an easy process so I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing.

  • Anonymous

    That’s federalism for ya. Can’t vote in any primary. You’ll be able to vote in VA in November though, don’t worry about that.

    • spookiness

      It counts more in VA than in DC though. DC is never much of a “swing” district in any race.

  • madmonk28

    Virginia is an open primary state, so you don’t need to be registered with a party to vote in a primary there (although it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to vote in this primary).

  • Philippe Lecheval

    It’s not something worth getting too worked up about, since despite what you’ve been told all your life, your vote doesn’t really count for much in either state.

    • John

      That is some of the worst advice I’ve read quite a long time. Everyone with the right to vote should get their behinds out to the polling place on election day. PERIOD.

      If you don’t get your behind out to the polling place on election day, then don’t complain about how you don’t like what elected officials are doing.

      • captain democracy

        voting is a BIG DEAL. PERIOD

      • saf


  • anon

    You may be out of luck, but its worth contacting Election Protection to see if they have an answer for you: http://www.866ourvote.org/contact

    • Duponter

      You can try but Election Protection is focused on protecting the right to vote in elections, not primaries. How a party picks its nominee is pretty much up to the party.

  • anon

    If you know your new address, you should be able to register now using the new address- especially if you have official proof of new address, like a closing contract or lease. I’m sure you aren’t the first person with this quandary, so if you contact the VA elections office, they should be able to provide you with additional info on how you can vote. Looks like the number is (800) 552-9745. Hope this helps!

  • ChillyDC

    More people need to be made aware that DC has a CLOSED PRIMARY system. That means that, unless you are registered as a Democrat, you can’t vote for the Dem. slate of candidates, and unless you are registered as a Republican, you can’t vote for the Rep. slate of candidates. If you are registered as an independent, you need not bother showing up.
    I’m a poll worker, and during the last mayoral election, it was really tough telling people they were out of luck voting for their Dem. candidate of choice because they weren’t registered as Dems.

  • navyard

    why don’t you use the “vote early” or “Absentee Vote” in DC and mail it in before you move?

  • Anon

    I’m pretty sure you can vote in VA. When you change your registration here: http://www.vdh.state.va.us/LHD/Roanoke_City/documents/forms/VirginiaVoterRegistrationApplication.pdf

    just use your future VA address. When you arrive to vote, you’ll need to show I.D. matching that location.

  • anon

    Virginia’s registration deadline is specifically in place to stop you from voting (especially if you’re a minority). Are you sure you want to move to Virginia? If so, get ready to be “really, really angry” a lot. The legislature is firmly in Republican hands and looks to be so for a while yet.

    • Duponter

      Well, until the Supreme Court gets around to overturning the ridiculous gerrymandering system that exists in Virginia and elsewhere. Just today, Mark Warner proposed legislation to address that issue. Virginia is pretty egregious. The map of red versus blue House districts in Congress and in the VA state legislature is pretty insane.

      It’s coming. And even Republicans should welcome it since their efforts to draw their districts so as to guarantee them a House majority in perpetuity has resulted in the likes of Ted Cruz and other insane Tea Party nonsense.

    • curious

      How on earth is a registration date racist?

  • Caroline

    Save your energy for when you have to change your license and vehicle registration from DC to VA. It’s absolute hell.

  • anon

    People move all the time. When I move close by like that, I just vote at my old polling place until I get around to registering at my new one. Which doesn’t happen immediately, usually, given everything else I have to do when moving. There’s no point getting angry and all worked up about it – there’s this simple solution, as well as the one to register early at your new address if you know what it will be.

  • madmonk28

    Well maybe for moving within DC, or moving within a state, but the OP is moving out of DC. I don’t really understand why voting in our primary would make sense if s/he is moving to Virginia.


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