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Election Denial in District of Columbia

  • 0 Election Deniers currently hold statewide office with election oversight power.

  • 0 Election Deniers have held, or run for, statewide office since 2020.

The landscape in District of Columbia

Washington, D.C., has the highest reported voter registration rate in the country, with more than 95 percent of eligible citizens reporting being registered. And although D.C. isn’t recognized as a state, its election system follows a similar pattern to many other states.

Although Washington, D.C., has no Election Deniers who hold power over district-wide elections, it’s been a central location for understanding the impacts of election denial on our country. One reason Election Denier behavior is dangerous is that the lies at the heart of the movement can foment violence and undermine trust in our elections. Of course, there’s no better example than the attack on the Capitol and the attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of presidential power on Jan. 6, 2021.

In December 2021, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed suit to hold the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and their leaders accountable for helping to plan and carry out the violence that day. The lawsuit was the first brought by a government entity against the Jan. 6 insurrectionists. States United served as pro bono outside counsel.

In March 2024, Nikki Haley won the District of Columbia Republican presidential primary, defeating Election Denier Donald Trump.

0 Election Deniers hold district-wide Office right now.

Washington, D.C., does not have a Governor. It does have an Attorney General, responsible for defending the laws of the district. Its chief election official is the executive director appointed by the District of Columbia Board of Elections. And after a presidential election, the District’s certificate of ascertainment, the official document that identifies D.C.’s electors and final popular vote count, is submitted by the Mayor of the District of Columbia.

Read more about The Roles of Our Elected Officials in Elections

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Election Deniers

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How District of Columbia compares

Every state runs its own elections, with its own laws and processes. Check out how District of Columbia compares with other states in its region when it comes to Election Deniers holding state election administration jobs.

Election Denial in Mideast States

State Commissioner of Elections

Moreinformation about Delaware

State Elections Board

Moreinformation about District of Columbia

State Elections Board

Moreinformation about Maryland
Moreinformation about New Jersey

State Elections Board

Moreinformation about New York
Moreinformation about Pennsylvania

Sitting official is an Election Denier

  1. In Delaware, the Governor appoints the State Commissioner of Elections.
  2. In Washington, D.C., the Executive Director is appointed by the District of Columbia Board of Elections.
  3. In Maryland, the Administrator of Elections is appointed by the Maryland State Board of Elections.
  4. In New Jersey, the Governor appoints the Secretary of State.
  5. In New York, the Co-Executive Directors are appointed by the New York State Board of Elections.
  6. In Pennsylvania, the Governor appoints the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

0 Election Deniers have held, or have run for, district-wide Office since 2020.

Even one Election Denier with election oversight power is a threat to the will of the people. Here are the Election Deniers who have sought control over District of Columbia elections in recent years.

All parties

No candidates match the selected filters.

Beyond the ballot box

Each year, state legislators introduce thousands of bills related to elections. And in the past few years, we’ve identified a concerning trend. Across the country, state legislatures are considering bills that would make it easier for partisan actors to manipulate an election, and maybe even overturn the will of the people. We’re tracking these bills along with our partners in an ongoing series of reports called “A Democracy Crisis in the Making.” All told, in the 2023 legislative cycle, we identified 196 bills that were introduced in 39 states that would interfere with election administration. Ultimately, 21 of those bills became law across 15 states, while 7 bills were vetoed across 2 states.

The anti-democracy playbook is simple: change the rules and change the referees, in order to change the results. These bills go hand-in-hand with the Election Denier movement: They’re about taking power away from voters and making it harder for trusted election officials to do their jobs.

Read the full report

Legislative Interference in District of Columbia by Category

As of November 15, 2023, no bills had been introduced or were under consideration in District of Columbia. None have been enacted or adopted and none have been vetoed after passing.

  • Usurping control over election results.
    These bills would give legislators or other state officials direct control over election outcomes.
  • Requiring partisan or unprofessional election “audits” or reviews.
    These bills would establish vague post-election review schemes without the professional standards of traditional audits.
  • Seizing power over election responsibilities.
    These bills would shift election administration responsibilities away from professional, nonpartisan officials and toward partisan actors in the legislature.
  • Creating unworkable burdens in election administration.
    These bills would interfere with the basic procedures of election administration, increasing the risk of chaos and delay and enabling misleading claims of irregularity.
  • Imposing disproportionate criminal or other penalties.
    These bills would create or expand penalties for election officials in the ordinary execution of their jobs, including criminalizing inadvertent mistakes.