Voter Registration: Rhode Island
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: Rhode Island has a 'semi-closed' party primary system. This means that you may only vote in your party's primary, but if you are registered as "Unaffiliated" you may vote in the primary of any party you choose. Once you vote in a primary, however, you are considered a member of that party until and unless you "disaffiliate". You may do this by signing a "Change of Party Designation" form at the polling place after you vote or by submitting a new voter registration form at any time. The disaffiliation takes effect in 90 days. If you indicated a party preference when you registered to vote, you may only vote in that party's primary. If you wish to vote in another party's primary, you must disaffiliate at least 90 days before the primary date.
Click here to update your party affiliation.
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 legally 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
Location and time:
The Board of Elections must receive your mail ballot by 8 p.m. on Election Day at:
50 Branch Avenue Providence, RI 02904
VOTING ON ELECTION DAY
All voters at the polls must present Photo ID. There are various acceptable types of IDs. 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 hours, click on Rhode Island’s Polling Place Hours of Operations page.
Provisional Voting is a process to insure that all registered voters are allowed to participate in the election process. 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. Click on Provisional Voting section for more information.
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