D.C. Council Sets Permanent Primary Election Date

District residents did not let long lines deter them from showing up in record numbers at sites like One Judiciary Square in order to cast their vote on the final day of early voting in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Nov. 4. Photo by Shevry Lassiter
District residents did not let long lines deter them from showing up in record numbers at sites like One Judiciary Square in order to cast their vote on the final day of early voting in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Nov. 4. (Shevry Lassiter/The Washington Informer)

The D.C. Council has passed an amendment act sponsored last month by Council member Charles Allen that permanently establishes the third Tuesday in June as the city’s primary election date.

The Primary Date Alteration Amendment Act of 2017, which was approved Tuesday by the council, begins with the election scheduled for June 19, 2018.

The bill, which quickly took effect, passed with identical emergency legislation.

“This bill needs to move quickly to provide potential candidates with sufficient time to plan to run for public office, to allow the Board of Elections enough time to make necessary preparations for the election, and to ensure that voters are aware of the change in date and able to participate at the polls,” said Allen, chair of the council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety.

In support of his bill, Allen cited several benefits to moving the date in avoiding conflicts with schools that serve as polling sites and avoiding any federal holidays during the two-week early voting period to maximize voter turnout.

The 2018 primary voting date had been previously scheduled for Sept. 4, the first Tuesday of the month and the day after the Labor Day holiday.

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