The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics urges eligible residents to register before the April 7 deadline in order to vote in the May 6 primary election.

The District has approximately 240,000 registered voters. The elections board estimates an additional 100,000 residents may be eligible to vote.

"The May 6 election is important to District residents, both with regard to the upcoming presidential election and with regard to local issues," said board chairman James L. Denson. "This is a major election year in the District with the D.C. Council primary election in September and the general election for president, six council members and D.C. delegate in November. Other initiative votes may be included in the September and November elections."

District residents may apply by mail to register by using a mail-in postpaid form available at all D.C. public libraries, police stations and post offices, and at the Board of Elections and Ethics office on the ground floor of the District Building. The card must be postmarked by April 7 or delivered to the elections board office by that date.

To be eligible to vote in the District, an applicant must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old by the date of the election and a resident of the District by April 7, the registration deadline. Convicted felons may register after their release. Persons who have been declared mentally incompetent by a court are excluded from registering.

Residents who haven't voted in the last four years and those who have changed their names or wish to change party affiliation must re-register to vote in this year's elections.

Registered voters who have changed their addresses within the District are asked to notify the board by mail, by sending either Part II of the registration form or a letter or post card to the Board of Elections and Ethics, Room 7, District Building, 14th and E Streets NW, Washington, D.C. 20004. Voters may change their address as late as election day, and are permitted to vote either at their former polling places or by special ballot in their new polling places.

All voters in the May 6 election will receive a legalized gambling initiative ballot on whether "to legalize gambling, specifically, bingo and raffles for charitable and educational purposes; games of chance conducted in the home and/or public places where no profit inures to the organizer; lotteries and daily numbers games operated by the District of Columbia returning approximately 60 percent of the gross handle to the public in prizes; parimutuel wagering on duly licensed jai alai games and dog racing, and establish a Gaming Control Board to adopt rules and regulations and supervise and control all authorized forms of gambling."

Democrats will receive the following additional ballots:

Democratic State Committee ballot -- to select as many as 12 members at large on one side, and up to four ward members on the reverse side.

Presidential preference, D.C. delegate and National Committee officers ballot -- to cast a primary vote for D.C. delegate to Congress, and to vote an alternate for each and to select a slate for the presidential nominating convention on the reverse side.

This ballot will come as a package of either four or five ballots. All voters will receive one ballot each for President Jimmy Carter, Sen. Edward Kennedy, Gov. Jerry Brown, and Lyndon Larouche. Voters in wards 1, 2, 6 and 8, designated by the Democratic Party as Congressional District 1, may receive a ballot for one additional slate.

Democratic voters will be required to select and mark one presidential candidate or slate, and to select a specified number of women and men on that slate. The voter will then mark the reverse side of the ballot for D.C. delegate to Congress and state committee officers, and dispose of unused ballots. A total of 19 delegates to the national convention will be selected in that manner. The Democratic Party will select another 19 representatives to make up the 38-member delegation.

Republicans will receive the following additional ballots:

D.C. delegate write-in candidate ballot, with state committeeman, committeewoman and their alternates listed on the same ballot.

Presidential preference ballot -- including slates for candidates John Anderson and George Bush and two uncommitted slates. Republicans will be able to select a total of 14 delegates and 14 alternates. Unlike the Democrats, Repbulicans will be able to select candidates from all four slates, if they wish.

D.C. Republican Committee ballot -- to elect 70 members at large. Voters will be able to select one of two slates, or up to 70 persons on both slates.

Statehood Party:

Write-in ballot for D.C. delegate to Congress.

Information on voter registration is available by calling 347-9725.