After last week's "Super Tuesday" primary elections in California, New Jersey, and four other states, it's easy to forget that there's still one more to go. As the District of Columbia prepares to undergo the final presidential primary in this year's explosive election season, Democratic voters in the capital need to know: When do the polls close in D.C.?
Voters will be able cast their ballots in D.C. until 8:00 p.m. ET as the sun sets on the east coast and this year's primary season. The Democratic primary, which is closed (meaning only registered Democrats can participate), marks the final standoff between presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton and underdog candidate Bernie Sanders before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 25.
The vote is largely symbolic, as only 20 delegates are up for grabs (Clinton currently has 2,202 pledged delegates; Sanders has 1,829), and Clinton was declared the party's presumptive presidential nominee the night of last week's Super Tuesday primaries. All the same, Sanders is still working the campaign circuit. In a statement and during an appearance in the District, Sanders came out in support of D.C. statehood, saying that it's "morally wrong for American citizens who pay federal taxes, fight in our wars and live in our country to be denied the basic right to full Congressional representation."
Despite continuing his presidential bid, Sanders told CNN's George Stephanopolous that he and Clinton will be speaking the night of the primary to discuss the future of the party's platform and Clinton's intended policy decisions if she is elected president. Sanders somewhat glibly referred to the platform as "a piece of paper" and said that he hopes Clinton will work with him to ensure she will focus on the interests of working-class families.
The D.C. primary has been the subject of multiple scandals leading up to the June 14 election. In April, the primary made headlines when Sanders was almost left off the ballot due to the Democratic Party not filing his candidacy paperwork until the day after the deadline. As recently as yesterday, a critic at The Washington Times accused the D.C. Board of Elections of "perpetuating election fraud" due to poor management and lapses in oversight which include "6,543 voter registration records with dates of birth listed between 1800 and 1899." All the same, the show will go on, as more than 330,000 Democratic D.C. voters (out of 440,000 voters total) head to the polls to cast their ballots.
This primary puts an end to an exciting chapter in the 2016 elections, and ushers in the final countdown to the much-anticipated November 8 general election.