District of Columbia voters will go the polls Tuesday to elect eight city officials, including the mayor and City Council chairman, as well as delegate to Congress.

Polling places in the city's 137 precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

All registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, will be allowed to vote in the general election.

In addition to mayor and council chairman, two at-large members of the City Council and council members from wards 1, 3, 5 and 6 will be chosen.

In the at-large race, each voter may vote for two candidates. Write-in votes will be permitted in all races.

Only those persons registered as of Oct. 8 will be allowed to vote. Property registered voters should present voter registration cards at the pollings places. However, those who do not have their cards but are correctly registered will be allowed to cast a challenged ballot, which willbe counted once registration is verified at the election board.

Absentee voters may cast ballots in two ways. Those who have already obtained ballots - the deadline for doing so was Tuesday - may mail them in, post-marked not later than election day, Nov. 7.

Persons wishing to cast absentee ballots in person may do so by coming to Room 7 of the District Building, 14th and E streets NW, no later than 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4.

Ballot punching machines will be used in one city ward, Ward 5, on an experimental basis. Those voting with these machines will mark their choices by punching a hole in the ballot at the designated spot.

In the city's other seven wards, voters will mark their choices with a felt-tipped pen supplied by precinct officials.

Ballots marked with pencils, ink pens or crayons, and ballots on which the choice is indicated by circling a name, drawing an arrow or anything but filling in the small box to the right of the candidate's name will not register on vote-counting machines.

Automatic vote-counting machines, which scan ballots electronically, will be used in wards 2 and 4. All other ballots will be counted at the Pension Building.

There have been no changes in the location of polling places since the primary election on Sept. 12. However, in two instances voters will be casting ballots in places other than they have in recent years.

Voters in Precinct 123, who formerly voted at the Old Congress Heights Elementary School, now vote at the New Congress Heights Elementary School, 6th and Alabama Avenue SE.

Voters in Precinct 24, who in earlier years voted at Morgan Elementary School, should note that Precinct 24 now votes at the Marie Reed Learning Center, 2200 Champlain St. NW.

For more information about election procedures, residents should call the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, 347-9725, or the League of Women Voters, 785-2616.