Can You Vote on September 14?

by June 5, 2010 at 7:07 pm 1,819 0

Borderstan DC elections

To vote in the September 14 DC primary election, you must be registered in the party of your choice. If you do not pick a party, you cannot vote in the primary. (DC Board of Elections and Ethics)

Last week’s Poll of the Week at Borderstan asked readers their political party affiliation. The results are fairly close to overall Ward 2 numbers: 62% of readers said they are Democrats, 15% are Republicans, 3% claim Statehood Green Party status and 20% are independents. The numbers for Ward 2 and for all of DC are below.

Party registration is important in DC because we have closed political primaries. For example, if you are planning to vote in the Democratic Primary on September 14, you must be a registered Democrat. Unlike states with open primaries, you do not simply walk into your polling place on primary day and ask for the party ballot of your choice. Moreover, if you have no party affiliation, you cannot vote in a DC party primary.

There are three political parties with primary elections in DC: Democratic, Republican and Statehood Green. If you are planning to vote in the September 14 primary in DC, you need to be registered as a member of the party of your choice. Otherwise, you cannot vote until the November 2 general election. The DC Board of Elections and Ethics has more information.

The problem with the closed primary system in DC is that this is essentially a one-party state–the action almost always happens in the Democratic Party. Some people who only occasionally vote for Democrats in the general election–or who are true independents–still register as Democrats so they can have some say in who will end up winning an office.

Ward 2 Voter Registration

  • Democrat: 65%
  • Republican: 12%
  • Statehood Green: <1%
  • No Party Affiliation: 22% (independent)

District of Columbia Voter Registration

  • Democrat: 75%
  • Republican: 7%
  • Statehood Green :1%
  • No Party Affiliation: 17% (independent)


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