Board of Elections to send mail-in ballots to all D.C. voters for November general election

Each of the District’s 500,000 registered voters will receive a mail-in ballot for Election Day this November, DCist reported Wednesday.

The D.C. Board of Elections has navigated two elections during the COVID-19 pandemic – the June 2 primaries and the Ward 2 special election – the latter of which included the same strategy of mass delivery of ballots to all voters in Ward 2. The Board will mail absentee ballots to every registered voter in D.C. and will open 40 in-person voting centers throughout the District in hopes of finding a way around restrictions the pandemic poses, according to the report.

The city held the special election to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of former Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans, who was fined $35,000 last month for violating the D.C. Council’s code of conduct when he was in office. Brooke Pinto won both the Democratic primary and the special election and will serve the rest of Evans’ term on the Council this year.

During the June 2 primaries, ballots failed to reach some voters who requested them, and in-person voting centers drew hordes of locals who waited in line for hours, according to DCist.

The Board will hire an outside vendor to ship the ballots to voters, DCist reported.

The report states election officials will hire more information technology workers, increase call center staffing, spearhead a stronger communications campaign and improve the Vote4DC app, which enables voters to request ballots.

Election officials said voters “overwhelmed” the city’s IT system during the primary election in a report released Tuesday, which stated the agency’s staffing and technology were strained to fulfill all ballot requests filed across D.C. More than 92,000 voters requested absentee ballots for the primary election, but city officials only counted 80,000 mail-in votes, according to DCist.

The Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety held a hearing Friday to discuss how the city conducted primary voting, according to Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen’s website.

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