Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–1001.02(Perm). Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter:

(1) The term "District" means the District of Columbia.

(2) The term "qualified elector" means a person who:

(A) Is at least 17 years of age and who will be 18 years of age on or before the next general election;

(B) Is a citizen of the United States;

(C) Has maintained a residence in the District for at least 30 days preceding the next election and does not claim voting residence or right to vote in any state or territory;

(D) Is not incarcerated for a crime that is a felony in the District; and

(E) Has not been found by a court of law to be legally incompetent to vote.

(3) The term "Board" means the District of Columbia Board of Elections provided for by § 1-1001.03.

(4) The term "ward" means an election ward established by the Council.

(5) The term "State Board of Education" means the State Board of Education established by § 38-2651.

(6) The term "Delegate" means the Delegate to the House of Representatives from the District of Columbia.

(7) The term "felony" includes any crime committed in the District of Columbia referred to in §§ 1-1001.14, 1-1162.32, and 1-1163.35.

(8) The term "Council" or "Council of the District of Columbia" means the Council of the District of Columbia established pursuant to the District of Columbia Home Rule Act [§ 1-201.01 et seq.].

(9) The term "Mayor" means the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia established pursuant to the District of Columbia Home Rule Act [§ 1-202.01 et seq.].

(9A) The term "Attorney General" or "Attorney General for the District of Columbia" means the Attorney General for the District of Columbia provided for by part D-i of subchapter I of Chapter 3 [§ 1-301.81 et seq.] and § 1-204.35.

(10) The term "initiative" means the process by which the electors of the District of Columbia may propose laws (except laws appropriating funds) and present such proposed laws directly to the registered qualified electors of the District of Columbia for their approval or disapproval.

(11) The term "referendum" means the process by which the registered qualified electors of the District of Columbia may suspend acts, or some part or parts of acts, of the Council of the District of Columbia (except emergency acts, acts levying taxes, or acts appropriating funds for the general operating budget) until such acts or part or parts of acts have been presented to the registered qualified electors of the District of Columbia for their approval or rejection.

(12) The term "recall" means the process by which the registered qualified electors of the District of Columbia may call for the holding of an election to remove or retain an elected official of the District of Columbia (except the Delegate to Congress for the District of Columbia) prior to the expiration of the elected official's term.

(13) The term "elected official" means the Mayor, the Chairman and members of the Council, the Attorney General, members of the State Board of Education, the Delegate to Congress for the District of Columbia, United States Senator and Representative, and advisory neighborhood commissioners of the District of Columbia.

(14) The term "printed" shall include any document produced by letterpress, offset press, photo reproduction, multilith, or other mass reproduction means.

(15) The term "proposer" means one or more of the registered qualified electors of the District of Columbia, including any entity, the primary purpose of which is the success or defeat of a political party or principle, or any question submitted to vote at a public election by means of an initiative, referendum or recall as authorized in amendments numbered 1 and 2 to Title IV of the Home Rule Act (§§ 1-204.101 to 1-204.115). Such entities shall be treated as a political committee as defined in § 1-1161.01(44) for purposes of this subchapter.

(16)(A) The term "residence," for purposes of voting, means the principal or primary home or place of abode of a person. Principal or primary home or place of abode is that home or place in which the person's habitation is fixed and to which a person, whenever a person is absent, has the present intention of returning after a departure or absence therefrom, regardless of the duration of the absence.

(B) In determining what is a principal or primary place of abode of a person the following circumstances relating to the person may be taken into account:

(i) Business pursuits;

(ii) Employment;

(iii) Income sources;

(iv) Residence for income or other tax purposes;

(v) Residence of parents, spouse, and children;

(vi) Leaseholds;

(vii) Situs of personal and real property; and

(viii) Motor vehicle registration.

(C) A qualified elector who has left the qualified elector's home and gone into another state or territory for a temporary purpose only shall not be considered to have lost the qualified elector's residence in the District.

(D) If a qualified elector moves to another state or territory with the intention of making it the qualified elector's home, the qualified elector shall notify the Board, in writing, and shall be considered to have lost residence in the District.

(E) No person shall be deemed to have gained or lost a residence by reason of absence while employed in the service of the District or the United States governments, while a student at any institution of learning, while kept at any institution at public expense, or while absent from the District with the intent to have the District remain the person's residence. If a person is absent from the District, but intends to maintain residence in the District for voting purposes, the person shall not register to vote in any other state or territory during his or her absence.

(17) The term "voter registration agency" means an office designated under § 1-1001.07(d)(1) and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to perform voter registration activities.

(18) The term "application distribution agency" means an agency designated under § 1-1001.07(d)(14) in whose office or offices mail voter registration applications are made available for general distribution to the public.

(19) The term "duly registered voter" means a registered voter who resides at the address listed on the Board's records.

(20) The term "registered qualified elector" means a registered voter who resides at the address listed on the Board's records.

(21) The term "qualified registered elector" means a registered voter who resides at the address listed on the Board's records.

(22) The term "voting system" means:

(A) The combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment, including the software, firmware, and documentation required to program, control, and support the equipment used to:

(i) Define ballots;

(ii) Cast and count votes;

(iii) Report or display elections results; and

(iv) Maintain and produce a permanent record; and

(B) The practices and documentation used to:

(i) Identify system components and versions of components;

(ii) Test the system during its development and maintenance;

(iii) Maintain records of system errors and defects;

(iv) Determine necessary system changes after the initial qualification of the system; and

(v) Provide voters with notices, instructions, forms, paper ballots, or other materials.

(23) The term "Help America Vote Act of 2002" means the Help America Vote Act of 2002, approved October 29, 2002 (116 Stat. 1666; 42 U.S.C. § 15301 et seq.).

(24) The term "gender identity or expression" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 2-1401.02(12A).

(25) "Election observers" means persons who witness the administration of elections, including individuals representing nonpartisan domestic and international organizations, including voting rights organizations, civil rights organizations, and civic organizations.

(26) "Qualified petition circulator" means an individual who is 18 years of age or older and either:

(A) A District resident; or

(B) A resident of another jurisdiction who has registered with the Board as a petition circulator and consented to being subject to the subpoena power of the Board and the jurisdiction of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia for the enforcement of subpoenas without respect to the individual's place of residence.

(27) The term "digital voter service system" means a website or mobile application that allows an individual to do the following:

(A) Apply to become a registered voter;

(B) Change the individual's name, address, or party affiliation in the individual's existing voter registration record; and

(C) Request an absentee ballot.

(28) The term "DMV" means the Department of Motor Vehicles.

(29) "Mobile application" means specialized software, designed for a mobile device, in which electronic signatures are collected on an electronic petition.

(30) "Mobile device" means a handheld, portable, wireless computing device, including a tablet computer or mobile phone.

(31) "Polling place" includes Vote Centers operated by the Board throughout the District.


(Aug. 12, 1955, 69 Stat. 699, ch. 862, § 2; Oct. 4, 1961, 75 Stat. 820, Pub. L. 87-389, § 1(26); Apr. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 103, Pub. L. 90-292, § 4(2); Sept. 22, 1970, 84 Stat. 849, Pub. L. 91-405, title II, §§ 203(a), 205(a); Dec. 23, 1971, 85 Stat. 788, Pub. L. 92-220, § 1(2)-(4); Aug. 14, 1973, 87 Stat. 311, Pub. L. 93-92, § 1(1); Dec. 24, 1973, 87 Stat. 832, Pub. L. 93-198, title VII, § 751(2); Aug. 14, 1974, 88 Stat. 458, Pub. L. 93-376, title III, § 306(a); Sept. 2, 1976, D.C. Law 1-79, title I, § 102(1), title VI, § 602, 23 DCR 2050; Apr. 23, 1977, D.C. Law 1-126, title III, § 301(a), (b), 24 DCR 2372; June 7, 1979, D.C. Law 3-1, § 2(a), 25 DCR 9454; Mar. 16, 1982, D.C. Law 4-88, § 2(b), 29 DCR 458; Aug. 2, 1983, D.C. Law 5-17, § 5(a), 30 DCR 3196; Sept. 22, 1994, D.C. Law 10-173, § 2(a), 41 DCR 5154; July 25, 1995, D.C. Law 11-30, § 2(a), 42 DCR 1547; Apr. 12, 2000, D.C. Law 13-91, § 123(a), 47 DCR 520; Dec. 7, 2004, D.C. Law 15-218, § 2(a), 51 DCR 9132; June 25, 2008, D.C. Law 17-177, § 4(a), 55 DCR 3696; Feb. 4, 2010, D.C. Law 18-103, § 2(a), 56 DCR 9169; May 27, 2010, D.C. Law 18-160,§ 131(b), 57 DCR 3012; Apr. 27, 2012, D.C. Law 19-124, § 501(g)(1), 59 DCR 1862; Oct. 17, 2013, D.C. Law 20-31, § 2(a), 60 DCR 11535; Mar. 3, 2015, D.C. Law 20-167, § 2(b), 61 DCR 10738; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 1072(a), 63 DCR 10775; Mar. 16, 2021, D.C. Law 23-192, § 2(a), 68 DCR 1073.)