City Cast

DC Election Day: Then and Now

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on November 7
District residents swarm to the polls in 1964.

District residents swarm to the polls in 1964. (Bettmann / Getty Images)

It’s Election Day! But in the District this year that could look boring. So, we are winding back the clocks to one of D.C.’s most exciting instead.

On Nov. 3, 1964, D.C. residents cast their ballots in a presidential election for the first time and boy, did they show up. This was the line outside a polling place on the National Mall. Luckily, polling technology has advanced significantly.

The passage of the 23rd Amendment in 1961 had given Washingtonians the right to cast their ballot for President and Vice President for the first time. President Lyndon B. Johnson won D.C. by an overwhelming margin, receiving over 85% of the votes.

The polling stations await your presence.

The polling stations await your presence. (Kaela Cote-Stemmermann/City Cast DC)

I highly doubt that you’ll have to wait in lines this long today, but that doesn’t mean your vote is any less important. While this year doesn’t have a large D.C. election, Virginia and Maryland are in the hot seat.

All 140 of Virginia’s General Assembly seats are up for election in November and the outcome will decide control of the House of Delegates and the Senate. If the Republicans take back the Senate this could clear the way for Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s controversial policies on abortion access and transgender students in schools.

Meanwhile, in Maryland, Rockville is considering letting 16-year-olds vote and will be choosing its next mayor and councilmembers. So, still plenty of excitement to go around!

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