Rhode Island Voting Quick Facts
Who Can Register to vote in Rhode Island
We are committed to making it easier to vote. Here is helpful information about registering to vote, updating your voter registration in the event you have moved or changed your name and casting your ballot by mail or at your polling place.
May Convicted Felons Register to vote?
- If you are a convicted felon and not in prison and you are a US citizen at least 18 years of age on election day, you may restore your right to vote by notifying your local board of canvassers in writing that you have completed your prison sentence or by submitting a new voter registration form.
To qualify to register you must:
- Be a United States citizen;
- Be at least 16 years of age. You must be at least 18 years of age to vote,and
- Be a resident of the Rhode Island city or town where you wish to vote.
- You must not be currently deemed non-compos mentis by a court of law
- You must not be currently incarcerated in a correctional facility under felony conviction
How Do I Register To Vote in Rhode Island
you can complete either registration form below and submit it to your local board of canvassers.
Click here to download the Mail-In Voter Registration Form
You can do it at the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles
Click here to view Agency-Based Voter Registration locations
Voting At The Polls On Election Day
WHAT IS AN ACCEPTABLE FORM OF IDENTIFICATION FOR VOTING
Rhode Island state law 17-19-24.2 requires all voters to present valid photo identification prior to voting at the polls in all elections beginning in 2014. Voters will need to present one of the following forms of photo ID:
- RI Driver's License
- RI Voter ID Card *
- U.S. Passport
- ID issued by a U.S. educational institution
- U.S. military ID
- ID card issued by the United States or the State of Rhode Island
- Government issued medical card
- Employee ID card
- ID card provided by a commercial establishment
- Credit or debit card
- Military ID card
- Student ID card
- Health club ID card
- Insurance plan ID card
- Public housing ID card
If you do not have one of the proofs of identity above, you must bring one of the documents below to obtain a free voter ID card. It must include your name and be dated since November 4, 2014, unless the document is intended to be of a permanent nature such as a pardon or discharge:
- Utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government paycheck
- Document issued by a government agency
- Official elections document issued by a government agency, dated for the election in which the registered voter is providing it as proof of identity
- Voter notification issued by a governmental agency
- Public housing ID card issued by a governmental agency
- Lease or rental statement or agreement issued by a governmental agency
- Student ID card issued by a governmental institution/agency or non-governmental institution/agency
- Tuition statement or bill issued by a governmental agency
- Insurance plan card or drug discount card issued by a governmental agency
- Discharge certificates, pardons, or other official documents issued to the registered voter by a governmental agency in connection with the resolution of a criminal case, indictment, sentence or other matter
- Public transit authority senior citizen and disabled discount ID card issued by a governmental agency
- ID documents issued by governmental disability agencies
- ID documents issued by homeless shelters and other temporary or transitional facilities
- Drug prescription issued by a government doctor or other governmental health care provider
- Property tax statement issued by a governmental agency
- Vehicle registration issued by a governmental agency
- Vehicle certificate of ownership issued by a governmental agency
Any voter who is unable to present valid identification at the polls, will be required to cast a provisional ballot.
Identification is not required to vote by mail ballot.
Voter IDs are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm at 148 W. River St. in Providence.
Who Can Vote in Primary Elections in Rhode Island
Both Democrats and Republicans hold Semi-closed Primaries
What type of Primary election does the state of Rhode Island conduct?
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 for additional information
Who Can Vote Absentee in Rhode Island
Any otherwise qualified Rhode Island voter may vote by mail ballot in the following circumstances:
- A voter within the State of Rhode Island who is incapacitated to the extent that it would be an undue hardship to vote at the polls because of illness, or mental or physical disability, blindness, or serious impairment of mobility.
- An elector who is confined to in any hospital, convalescent home, nursing home, rest home, or similar institution, public of private, within the State of Rhode Island.
- An elector who will be temporarily absent from the state because of employment or service intimately connected with military operations or who is a spouse or legal dependent residing with that person, or a United States citizen that will be outside of the United States.
- Please Note: any voter qualified to vote a category 3 mail ballot will also be allowed to cast a mail ballot pursuant to the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act UOCAVA Act
- An elector who may not be able to vote at his or her polling place in his or her city or town on the day of the election (see “No Excuse Mail Ballot Voting” below).
All mail ballots must be received by the State Board of Elections at 50 Branch Avenue Providence, R.I. 02904 by 8:00 P.M. the night of the election.
No Excuse Mail Ballot Voting
- Rhode Island has joined 30 other states and the District of Columbia that now allow no excuse mail ballot voting. If you may not be able to get to the polls on Election Day, you can fill out a mail ballot application and receive a mail ballot.
What If My Address Has Changed
Updating your voter registration information (name, address, or party change)
- You can also submit a voter registration form to:
- Update your name
- Update your address
- Update your party affiliation (it takes 90 days for a party change to take effect)
- You must submit an updated voter registration form each time you change your address,
change your name, or change your party affiliation.
- At School. Students can establish residency in Rhode Island if they have a present intention
to remain at their Rhode Island school address for the time being, and they intend to make it their principal home.
Any other interpretation of the residency law is unconstitutional. Your student ID can be used as proof
of residency as long as it has your name and address on it. Voting in Rhode Island may be considered
a declaration of residency, potentially making you subject to other laws that govern state residents.
- At Home. Students who lived in Rhode Island before moving elsewhere to attend school, and who wish
to establish or keep their Rhode Island voting residency (i.e., at their parentsâ Rhode Island address),
should have no problem doing so unless they are already registered to vote in another state.
Rhode Island does not consider attending school out of your voting district as an abandonment
of your residency.
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