Registration Deadline: You must register at least 30 days before a primary or election in which you wish to vote. If you miss the deadline, Rhode Island allows for same day voter registration for the Presidential Election, but you will only be able to vote for President and Vice President. You can only register and vote on Election Day at the location designated by your local board of canvassers.
Party Affiliation: If you are affiliated with a specific political party, you may only vote in that party’s primary. “Unaffiliated” (also known as independent) voters can vote in any party primary but, by casting a vote in a party primary, you automatically become affiliated with that party.
If you vote by mail ballot and want to return to an unaffiliated status, you may do so by updating your record and changing your party. You can also complete a new paper voter registration form or contact your local board of canvassers. You will officially return to your unaffiliated status in 30 days.
If you vote at the polls and want to return to an unaffiliated status, you may request a “disaffiliation form” from poll workers and fill it out before leaving the polling place. You will officially return to your unaffiliated status in 30 days.
VOTER REGISTRATION QUALIFICATIONS
Age: At least 16 years of age, but you must be at least 18 years of age to vote.
Citizenship: Must be a United States citizen
Residency: Must be a resident of the Rhode Island city or town where you wish to vote. You can register to vote as soon as you move to that city/town as long as you intend to make your primary residence here. However, you cannot vote for local candidates or issues until you have been registered at that address for 30 days.
Mental Competency: Must not be presently judged mentally incompetent by a court of law
Felony Convictions: Must not be incarcerated in a correctional facility upon a felony conviction. Once out of prison, you can restore your right to vote by either notifying your local board of canvassers in writing or by submitting a new voter registration form.
ID Requirements to register to vote: First time voters can register online with:
-Your Rhode Island DMV issued driver's license or State ID number
-Your name as it appears on your Rhode Island driver's license or State ID card
-Your date of birth
Alternatively, you may complete the form without your driver's license or State ID number for paper submission, but you must provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number.
OBTAINING A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM
Online: Online Voter Registration
VERIFYING YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS
OBTAINING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
Military and overseas voting: Rhode Island military/overseas voters use a special process to receive and return their mail ballot. The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) provides step-by-step guidance on how a military/overseas voter can apply for and receive their mail ballot.
SUBMITTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
Hand delivery: The Board of Elections must receive your mail ballot by 8 p.m. on Election Day at:
2000 Plainfield Pike, Suite A
Cranston, RI 02921
By mail: Place completed mail ballot certificate envelope into the postage-paid return envelope addressed to:
Rhode Island Board of Elections
Post Office Box 6128
Providence, RI 02940
You should allow at least 3 mailing days to ensure your mail ballot arrives by 8 p.m. on election day.
You can track the status of your absentee ballot here.
VOTING ON ELECTION DAY
All voters at the polls must present an acceptable form of photo ID as listed below:
-RI driver's license/permit
-ID card issued by any federally recognized tribal government
-ID card issued by an educational institution in the United States
-US military identification card
-ID card issued by the US government or State of Rhode Island (RIPTA bus pass, etc.)
-Government issued medical card
-RI Voter ID card
Please note that RI Driving Privilege Cards or Permits are not acceptable forms of Voter ID.
If a voter is unable to present valid photo ID, they have the right to cast a provisional ballot. More information is available here.
For polling locations and hours, click here.
Provisional Voting is a process to ensure that all registered voters are allowed to participate in the election process. A voter may vote via provisional ballot if:
-The voter’s name is not on the precinct voting list or the master voting list for the Polling Place and the voter does not qualify for the "Affirmation" process.
-The voter's identity has been challenged by an election official.
-The voter has not presented identification as required.
-The precinct voting list indicates the voter has applied for a mail or emergency ballot.
-IN A PRIMARY ONLY, the voter claims they are unaffiliated or affiliated with a different party than indicated on the precinct voter list.
These qualified voters will be allowed to cast the same ballot as all others; however, the disposition (full ballot, federal offices only, or disqualified) of that ballot will be determined by the voter’s local board of canvassers. The voter may then determine the disposition of their ballot by visiting this website 48 hours after the election or by contacting their Board of Canvassers. For more information on provisional voting click here.
Deciding how to vote: https://votesmart.org/
Polling Place: https://sos.ri.gov/vic/
Problems with voting: Click on this link to contact Rhode Island State Board of Elections
Verifying provisional ballot status: Rhode Island Provisional Ballot Inquiry
Verifying absentee ballot status: Rhode Island Voter Information Center
Voter Assistance: You can request the assistance of a bipartisan pair of poll workers. Federal and state laws allow voters who are blind, disabled, or unable to read or write to bring a person of their choice into the voting booth. An affidavit must be completed.