§ 1–1001.05. Board of Elections — Duties.
*NOTE: This section includes amendments by temporary legislation that will expire on February 12, 2023. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation, click this link: Permanent Version.*
(a) The Board shall:
(1) Accurately maintain a uniform, interactive computerized voter registration list which shall serve as the official voter registration list for all elections in the District, and shall contain the name, registration information, and a unique identifier assigned for every registered voter in the District. The voter registration list shall be administered pursuant to the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and pertinent federal and local law, and shall be coordinated with other District agency databases;
(2) Take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to actively locate, identify, and register qualified voters;
(3) Conduct elections;
(4) Provide for recording and counting votes by means of ballots or machines or both; provided, that the Board may begin counting votes 15 days before the day of the election, but may not publish or disclose tabulation results before 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election;
(5) Publish in the District of Columbia Register no later than 45 days before each election held under this subchapter, a fictitious name sample design and layout of the ballot to be used in the election. This requirement shall not apply to any special election to fill a vacancy in an Advisory Neighborhood Commission single-member district;
(6) Publish in 1 or more newspapers of general circulation in the District, a sample copy of the official ballot to be used in any such election; provided, that nothing contained herein shall require the publication of a sample copy of the official ballots to be used in the advisory neighborhood commissions’ elections;
(7) Publish in the District of Columbia Register on the 3rd Friday of every month, the total number of qualified electors registered to vote in the District as of the last day of the month preceding publication. Such notice shall be broken down by ward and political party affiliation, where applicable, and shall list the total number of new registrants, party changes, cancellations, changes of names, and/or addresses processed under each category;
(8) Every 5 years, divide the District into appropriate voting precincts, each of which shall contain at least 350 registered persons; draw precinct lines within election wards created by the Council;
(9) Operate polling places, including a polling place for individuals incarcerated in the Department of Corrections' custody or care at the Central Detention Facility and Correctional Treatment Facility;
(9A) Before any upcoming voter registration or absentee ballot deadlines and with reasonable time for qualified electors to return materials to the Board:
(A) Provide to every unregistered qualified elector in the Department of Corrections' care or custody and endeavor to provide to every unregistered qualified elector in the Bureau of Prisons' care or custody:
(i) A voter registration form and postage-paid return envelope; and
(ii) Lay-friendly educational materials about the importance of voting and the right of an individual currently incarcerated or with a criminal record to vote in the District; and
(B) Provide to every registered qualified elector in the Department of Corrections' care or custody and endeavor to provide to every registered qualified elector in the Bureau of Prisons' care or custody:
(i) A voter guide;
(ii) Lay-friendly educational materials about the importance of voting and the right of an individual currently incarcerated or with a criminal record to vote in the District; and
(iii) Without first requiring an absentee ballot application to be submitted, an absentee ballot and postage-paid return envelope;
(10) Provide information regarding procedures for voter registration and absentee ballots to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters in United States elections, accept valid voter registration applications, absentee ballot applications, and absentee ballots including write-in ballots from all of those voters, and comply with the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, approved August 28, 1966 (100 Stat. 924; 42 U.S.C. § 1873ff et seq.);
(10A) Accept absentee ballots postmarked or otherwise proven to have been sent on or before the day of the election, and received by the Board no later than the 7th day after the election;
(11) Certify nominees and the results of elections in sufficient time to comply with the requirements of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act, approved August 28, 1986 (100 Stat. 924; 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff et seq.);
(12) Take all reasonable steps to inform all residents and voters of elections and means of casting votes therein, including by establishing a system to permit voters to elect to receive a voter guide by electronic means in lieu of by mail, if such a guide is published by the Board;
(14) Issue such regulations and expressly delegate authority to officials and employees of the Board (such delegations of authority only to be effective upon publication in the District of Columbia Register) as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter, subchapter VII of this chapter, and related acts requiring implementation by the Board. The regulations authorized by this paragraph include those necessary to determine that candidates meet the statutory qualifications for office; define the form of petitions; establish rules for the circulation and filing of petitions; establish criteria to determine the validity of signatures on petitions; and provide for the registration of any political party seeking to nominate directly candidates in any general or special election;
(15) Take reasonable steps to facilitate voting by blind persons and persons with physical and developmental disabilities, qualified to vote under this subchapter, and to authorize such persons to cast a ballot with the assistance of a person of their own choosing;
(15A) At the request of a candidate, consider what action, if any, should be taken to clarify the identity of a candidate if there is potential for confusion among voters about the identity of a candidate because of the similarity of his or her name to another candidate or elected official;
(16) Perform such other duties as are imposed upon it by this subchapter;
(17) Perform duties imposed upon it by subchapter VII of this chapter;
(18) Tabulate all ballots in sufficient time to comply with the requirements of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voter Act, approved August 28, 1986 (100 Stat. 924; 42 U.S.C. § 1973ff et seq.);
(19)(A) Obtain or develop a mobile application that:
(i) Connects the user to the Board's computerized voter registration list to immediately confirm that a petition signer is a registered qualified elector;
(ii) Maintains an up-to-date count of the number of electronic signatures collected; and
(iii) Allows signed petitions to be printed out for submission to the Board;
(B) No later than October 1, 2017, implement a pilot program that provides a limited number, as determined by the Board, of candidates, qualified petition circulators, and proposers with the option to use a mobile application, in addition to the paper circulation process, to gather electronic signatures on a mobile device registered with the Board for the June 2018 Primary Election;
(C) For the November 2018 General Election, and all subsequent elections, make a mobile application available to all candidates, qualified petition circulators, and proposers to install on a mobile device registered with the Board; and
(D) Issue rules to implement the use of a mobile application for all elections, including how to register a mobile device with the Board in order to utilize the mobile application; provided, that the rules shall require signed petitions from the mobile application to be printed out and submitted to the Board; and
(20) Develop and post on the Board's website a voter registration packet for new tenants and homeowners, which shall constitute a vital document for the purposes of § 2-1933, including:
(A) A voter registration application;
(B) Information concerning:
(i) Online voter registration;
(ii) Updating a voter's address;
(iii) The voting rights in the District of individuals with criminal records; and
(iv) Voter registration information for high school and college students; and
(C) A weblink to the Board's website, which shall identify:
(i) The date of the next scheduled election;
(ii) Polling place locations;
(iii) The names and positions of current elected officials in the District; and
(iv) How to search for an individual's Ward Councilmember, Ward State Board of Education member, and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner.
(a-1)(1) The Board shall hold regular monthly meetings in accordance with a schedule to be established by the Board. Additional meetings may be called as needed by the Board. Except in the case of an emergency, the Board shall provide at least 48 hours' notice of any additional meeting.
(2) The Board shall make available for public inspection and post on its website a proposed agenda for each Board meeting as soon as practicable, but in any event at least 24 hours before a meeting. Copies of the agenda shall be available to the public at the meeting. The Board, according to its rules, may amend the agenda at the meeting.
(3) All meetings of the Board shall be open to the public, unless the members vote to enter into executive session. The Board shall not vote, make resolutions or rulings, or take any actions of any kind during executive session, except those that:
(A) Relate solely to the internal personnel rules or practices of the Board;
(B) Would result in the disclosure of matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute; provided, that the statute:
(i) Requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue; or
(ii) Establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld;
(C) Would result in the disclosure of trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;
(D) Involve accusing any person of a crime or formally censuring any person;
(E) Would result in the disclosure of information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
(F) Would result in the disclosure of investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes or information which, if written, would be contained in the records, but only to the extent that the production of the records or information would:
(i) Interfere with enforcement proceedings;
(ii) Deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication;
(iii) Constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; or
(iv) Disclose investigative techniques and procedures; or
(G) Specifically concern the Board’s issuance of a subpoena, the Board’s participation in a civil action or proceeding, or disposition by the Board of a particular matter involving a determination on the record after opportunity for a hearing.
(4) The Board shall keep the minutes of each meeting of the Board and shall make the minutes of each meeting available to the public for inspection and distribution, and shall post the minutes on the Board’s website, as soon as practicable, but in all cases before the next regularly scheduled meeting.
(b)(1) The Board shall, on the 1st Tuesday in June of each presidential election year, conduct a presidential preference primary election within the District of Columbia in which the registered qualified voters therein may express their preference for candidates of each political party of the District of Columbia for nomination for President.
(2) No person shall be listed on the ballot as a candidate for nomination for President in such presidential preference primary election unless:
(A) No later than 90 days before the date of such presidential preference primary election, there shall have been filed with the Board a petition on behalf of the person signed by at least 1,000, or 1%, whichever is fewer, of the qualified electors of the District who are registered under § 1-1001.07, and are of the same political party as the nominee; or
(B) The person has complied with the rules of the political party to be listed on the ballot, and if the party rules provide for candidate qualification by means other than gathering petition signatures as described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph, the political party shall certify to the Board no later than 24 hours after the date that is 90 days before the date of such presidential preference primary election the names of candidates for nomination who have qualified by such means.
(3)(A) Candidates for delegate and alternates where permitted by political party rules to a particular political party national convention convened to nominate that party’s candidate for President shall be listed on the ballot of the presidential preference primary held under this subchapter as:
(i) Full slates of candidates for delegates supporting a candidate for nomination for President if there shall have been filed with the Board, no later than 90 days before the date of such presidential primary, a petition on behalf of such slate’s candidacy signed by the candidates on the slate, and by at least 1,000, or 1%, whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the District of Columbia who are registered under § 1-1001.07 and are of the same political party as the candidates on such slate;
(ii) Full slates of candidates for delegates not committed to support any named candidate for nomination for President if there shall have been filed with the Board, no later than 90 days before the date of such presidential primary, a petition on behalf of such slate’s candidacy, signed by the candidates on the slate and by at least 1,000, or 1%, whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the District of Columbia who have registered under § 1-1001.07 and are of the same political party as the candidates on such slate;
(iii) An individual candidate for delegate supporting a candidate for nomination for President if there shall have been filed with the Board, no later than 90 days before the date of such presidential primary, a petition on behalf of such candidate, signed by the candidate and by at least 1,000, or 1%, whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the District of Columbia who have registered under § 1-1001.07 and are of the same political party as the candidate; or
(iv) An individual not committed to support any named candidate for nomination for President if there shall have been filed with the Board, no later than 90 days before the date of such presidential primary, a petition on behalf of such candidate, signed by the candidate and by at least 1,000, or 1%, whichever is less, of the qualified electors of the District of Columbia who have registered under § 1-1001.07 and are of the same political party as the candidate.
(B) No candidate for delegate or alternate may be listed on the ballot unless such candidate was properly selected according to the rules of the candidate's political party relating to the nomination of candidates for delegate or alternate.
(C) The governing body of each eligible party shall file with the Board, no later than 180 days prior to the presidential preference primary election:
(i) Notification of that party’s intent to conduct a presidential preference primary; and
(ii) A plan for the election detailing the procedures to be followed in the selection of individual delegates and alternates to the convention of that party, including procedures for the selection of committed and uncommitted delegates.
(4) The Board shall:
(A) Arrange the ballot for the presidential preference primary so as to enable each voter to indicate the voter's choice for presidential nominee and for the slate of delegates and alternates pledged to support that prospective nominee with 1 mark, and provide an alternative to vote for individual delegates or uncommitted slates of delegates; and
(B) Clearly indicate on the ballot the candidate for nomination for President which a slate or candidate for delegate supports, or name of the person who shall manage an uncommitted slate of delegates.
(5) The delegates and alternates, of each political party in the District of Columbia to the national convention of that party convened for the nomination of that party for President, elected in accordance with this subchapter, shall be obliged to vote only for the candidate whom the delegate or alternate has been selected to represent in accordance with properly promulgated rules of the political party, on the 1st ballot cast at the convention for nominees for President, or until such time as such candidate to whom the delegate is committed withdraws the candidate's candidacy, whichever 1st occurs.
(c) Each member of the Board and persons authorized by the Board may administer oaths to persons executing affidavits pursuant to § 1-1001.08. It may provide for the administering of such other oaths as it considers appropriate to require in the performance of its functions.
(d) The Board may permit either persons temporarily absent from the District or persons physically unable to appear personally at an official registration place to register for the purpose of voting in any election held under this subchapter.
(e)(1)(A) The Board shall select, employ, and fix the compensation for an Executive Director and such staff the Board deems necessary, subject to the pay limitations of § 1-611.16. The Executive Director shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.
(B) The Executive Director shall be a District resident throughout the Executive Director's term and failure to maintain District residency shall result in a forfeiture of the position.
(B-i) The requirements of subparagraph (B) of this paragraph shall not apply to Executive Director Alice Miller, beginning on her hire date of July 6, 2016.
(C)(i)(I) Notwithstanding the provisions of Unit A of Chapter 14 of Title 2, the Board shall use a ranking system based on a scale of 100 points for all employment decisions for positions within the Board.
(II) An individual who is a District resident at the time of application shall be awarded a 10-point hiring preference over a nonresident applicant; provided, that the individual claims the preference. This 10-point preference shall be in addition to any points awarded on the 100-point scale.
(III) At the time of appointment, an individual who claimed the 10-point residency preference shall agree, in writing, to maintain District residency for a period of 7 consecutive years from the effective date of appointment into the position for which the individual claimed the residency preference.
(IV) An individual who claimed the residency preference and who fails to maintain District residency for 7 consecutive years from the individual's effective date of appointment shall forfeit the individual's District government employment.
(V) Each applicant for a position covered by this sub-subparagraph shall be informed in writing of the provisions of this sub-subparagraph at the time of application.
(ii) The Board shall verify and enforce District residency requirements pursuant to § 1-515.04.
(iii) By November 1 of each year and pursuant to § 1-515.06, the Board shall submit to the Mayor an annual report detailing, for the previous fiscal year, compliance with residency requirements.
(2) No provision of this subchapter shall be construed as permitting the Board to appoint any personnel who are not full-time paid employees of the Board to preliminarily determine alleged violations of the law affecting elections.
(3) The Board may appoint a General Counsel to serve at the pleasure of the Board. The General Counsel shall be entitled to receive compensation at the same rate as the Executive Director of the Board and shall be responsible solely to the Board. The General Counsel shall perform such duties as may be delegated or assigned to the General Counsel by rule or order of the Board.
(4)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph, the Board shall select, appoint, and fix the compensation of temporary election workers to operate the polling places, including precinct captains who shall oversee the operations of polling places in accordance with rules prescribed by the Board, and polling place workers who shall assist the precinct captains. Precinct captains shall be qualified registered electors in the District. Polling place workers shall be qualified registered electors in the District; provided, that the Board may also appoint as polling place workers individuals who are at least 16 years of age on the day that they are working in this capacity, who reside in the District of Columbia, and who are enrolled in or have graduated from a public or private secondary school or an institution of higher education. Any polling place worker shall be required to:
(i) Complete at least 4 hours of training;
(ii) Receive certification as a polling place worker under standards that the Board shall promulgate; and
(iii) Take and sign an oath of office to honestly, faithfully, and promptly perform the duties of office.
(B) The Board shall establish standards to measure the performance of polling place workers, including the past performance of a polling place worker, and shall consider the polling place worker’s past performance before appointing the polling place worker to work as a polling place worker in a subsequent election.
(C) Election workers, including precinct captains and polling place workers, who are District government employees are not required to be District residents or qualified electors.
(f)(1) The Board shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to ensure that all persons responsible for the proper administration of this subchapter maintain a position of strict impartiality and refrain from any activity which would imply support or opposition to:
(A) A candidate or group of candidates for office in the District of Columbia; or
(B) Any political party or political committee.
(2) As used in this subsection, the terms “office,” “political party,” and “political committee” shall have the same meaning as that prescribed in § 1-1161.01.
(g) Notwithstanding provisions of the District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act (§ 2-501 et seq.), the Board may hear any case brought before it under this subchapter by 1 member panels. An appeal from a decision of any such 1 member panel may be taken to either the full Board or to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, at the option of any adversely affected party. If appeal is taken directly to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the decision of a 1 member panel shall be, for purposes of such appeal, considered to be a final decision of the Board. If an appeal is taken from a decision of a 1 member panel to the full Board, the decision of the 1 member panel shall be stayed pending a final decision of the Board. The Board may, upon a vote of the majority of its members, hear de novo all issues of fact or law relating to an appeal of a decision of a 1 member panel, except the Board may decide to consider only the record made before such 1 member panel. A final decision of the full Board, relating to an appeal brought to it from a 1 member panel, shall be appealable to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in the same manner and to the same extent as all other final decisions of the Board.
(h)(1) The Board, pursuant to regulations of general applicability, shall have the power to:
(A) Require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documents relating to the execution of the Board’s duties; and
(B) Order that testimony in any proceeding or investigation be taken by deposition before any person who is designated by the Board, and has the power to administer oaths and, in these instances, to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documents by subpoena.
(2) The Board may petition the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to enforce the subpoena or order, in the case of a refusal to obey a subpoena or order of the Board issued pursuant to this subsection. Any person failing to obey the Court’s order may be held in contempt of court.
(i) The Board shall cause the following information to be posted at each polling place on the day of each election for federal office:
(1) A sample version of the ballot that will be used for the election;
(2) The election and the hours during which polling places will be open;
(3) Instructions on the proper manner of completing a ballot, including a special ballot;
(4) Instructions for mail-in registrants and first-time voters under section 303(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 [42 U.S.C. § 15483(b)];
(5) General information on voting rights under applicable federal and District laws, including the right to cast a special ballot and instructions to contact the appropriate officials if these rights are alleged to have been violated;
(6) General information on federal and District law regarding prohibitions on acts of voter fraud and misrepresentation; and
(7) The documentation required for a qualified elector to verify residency and register to vote at the polling place.
(j) Not later than 90 days after the date of each regularly scheduled general election for federal office, the Board shall submit to the Mayor a report, in the format established by the United States Election Assistance Commission, on the number of absentee ballots sent to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters for the election and the number of ballots which were returned by those voters to the Board. The report shall be transmitted by the Mayor to the United States Election Assistance Commission, and shall be made available to the general public.
(k) Within 90 days following a general election, the Board shall publish on its website an after-action report. The report shall include the following information:
(1) The total number of votes cast, broken down by type of ballot, and including the number of spoiled ballots and special ballots that were not counted;
(2) The number of persons registered:
(A) More than 30 days preceding the election;
(B) Between 30 days preceding the election and the date of the election; and
(C) On the date of the election;
(3) The number of polling place workers, by precinct;
(4) Copies of any unofficial summary reports generated by the Board on election night;
(5) A synopsis of any issues identified in precinct captain or area representative logs;
(6) Performance measurement data of polling place workers;
(7) A description of any irregularities experienced on election day;
(7A) Recommendations for means by which the efficiency, accuracy, and speed of counting and reporting election results can be improved, including equipment or technology and an estimate of associated costs; and
(8) Any other information considered relevant by the Board.
(l) For the purposes of implementing the duties under subsection (a)(19) of this section, the Board may loan a mobile device to a candidate, qualified petition circulator, or proposer to utilize the mobile application. The Board may charge a reasonable refundable deposit for the use of the mobile device.
(m) By July 1, 2021, and biennially thereafter, the Board and the Corrections Information Council, established by § 24-101.01, shall jointly submit a report to the Mayor and Council on the Restore the Vote Amendment Act of 2020 ("Act"), including:
(1) The number of incarcerated qualified electors registered since the Act's effective date [April 27, 2021], or, beginning in the July 1, 2023 report, since the date of the previous report;
(2) The number of incarcerated registered qualified electors who voted, for each election held since the Act's effective date [April 27, 2021][,] or, beginning in the July 1, 2023 report, since the date of the previous report;
(3) An analysis of the Act's implementation and any identifiable challenges; and
(4) Any policy or legislative recommendations to ensure that all incarcerated qualified electors have a meaningful opportunity to register and vote.