Oct 26, 2022 - Politics

Midterm elections 2022: Voting in D.C.

Illustration of a white podium changing into a voting booth and then changing into three campaign signs, over a divided red and blue background.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

District voters in November will choose two citywide council members and decide whether to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers.

Why it matters: The at-large D.C. Council race is significant for the council's ideological makeup, and the Initiative 82 vote marks the second time in four years that voters will consider the tipped wage, after the D.C. Council overturned a successful initiative.

🗳 Voting in the District:

Polls are open 8:30am–7pm during the early voting period and 7am–8pm on Election Day. Same-day registration is available.

  • Registered voters don’t need to show ID or proof of residence in order to vote.
  • If the polling place closes while you’re already in line, you’re still able to vote.
🥊 D.C. Council at-large race
Photo illustration of Councilmembers Anita Bonds, Elissa Silverman, and Kenyan McDuffie
Three sitting council members are vying for the two at-large seats. From left: At-large Council member Anita Bonds (D), at-large Council member Elissa Silverman (I), and Ward 5 Council member Kenyan McDuffie (I). Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Blavity, Jonathan Newton, Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The at-large race is the most competitive race on the ballot. Voters will pick two winners out of a field of eight. The current at-large office holders are Democrat Anita Bonds and independent Elissa Silverman.

  • A third sitting council member, Ward 5's Kenyan McDuffie, is running as an independent, essentially competing against Silverman. McDuffie is seen as more of a moderate on economic issues and has made wealth-building for Black Washingtonians a cornerstone of his campaign. Silverman is a progressive stalwart and has championed landmark legislation such as paid leave.
  • The rest of the field includes Karim Marshall (I), Fred Hill (I), David Schwartzman (D.C. Statehood Green), Graham McLaughlin (I), and Giuseppe Niosi (R).

Go deeper: Read Axios D.C.'s full voter guide for the At-large Council race.

🍽 Initiative 82
Illustration of a pattern of checkmarks that turn into question marks and vice versa, over a red and blue background with a pattern of ballot elements.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

For the second time in roughly four years, D.C. voters will determine how tipped workers get paid, this time through the Initiative 82 ballot measure.

The initiative would require employers to pay D.C.'s $16.10 minimum wage to tipped employees regardless of how much they earn in tips. 

  • Currently, employers can pay less than minimum wage as long as each employee makes enough in tips to meet or exceed $16.10 an hour.

What they're saying: Some servers want the status quo because they make well beyond $16.10 an hour and worry that diners will stop tipping if things change.

Those in favor of the initiative argue it would help to erase disparities faced by often marginalized back-of-house restaurant staff who usually make much less than their front-of-house peers.

Go deeper: Read the full story for our complete Initiative 82 breakdown.

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