Rhode Island Election Information

Upcoming Elections in Your State

September 8, 2020 – State Primary Election

Voter Registration Deadlines & Important Dates
  • Voter Registration Deadline: Sunday, August 9, 2020
  • Mail Ballot Application (Receipt) Deadline:  Tuesday, August 18, 2020
  • Early In-Person Voting Begins:  Wednesday, August 19, 2020
  • Emergency Mail Ballot Application (Receipt) Deadline: Monday, September 7, 2020, at 4 pm ET[1]
  • Early In-Person Voting Ends: Tuesday, September 8, at 4 pm ET
  • 2020 State Primary Election: Tuesday, September 8, 2020
  • Mail Ballot Submission (Receipt) Deadline: Tuesday, September 8, 2020, at 8 pm ET

[1] Labor Day does not make a difference.

Polling places are open between 7:00 am to 8:00 pm

For more 2020 election information, visit the Rhode Island Secretary of State website.

November 3, 2020 – General Election

Voter Registration Deadlines & Important Dates
  • Voter registration deadline: Sunday, October 4, 2020
  • Mail Ballot Application (Receipt) Deadline:  Tuesday, October 13, 2020, at 4 pm ET
  • Early In-Person Voting Begins: Wednesday, October 14, 2020
  • Emergency Mail Ballot Application (Receipt) Deadline: Monday, November 2, 2020, at 4 pm ET
  • Early In-Person Voting Ends:  Monday, November 2, 2020, at 4 pm ET
  • Mail Ballot Submission (Receipt) Deadline: Tuesday, November 3, 2020, at 8 pm ET

Polling places are open between 7:00 am to 8:00 pm

For more 2020 election information, visit the Rhode Island Secretary of State website.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

When You Can Vote

Election Day:

Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on Election Day.  As long as you are in line at your polling station by 8 p.m. ET, you will be eligible to vote.  This includes non-registered voters that intend to register and vote on the same day.

Exceptions:

  • New Shoreham (Block Island), where the polls must be open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The polls open at this location at 12 p.m. noon for presidential primaries.
  • The Barrington, Lincoln, and Tiverton locations are not open for the state primary elections.

Early Voting (New for Rhode Island):

Polls are open during the regular business hours at your city or town hall during the Early Voting Period.

  • You must contact your Local Board of Canvassers for their regular business hours. Not all will have weekend voting or the same hours.  For more information, please visit the Rhode Island Department of State Website and call your Local Board of Canvassers to get their regular business hours. In addition, the page information as of August 20, 2020, is listed as Exhibit A hereto.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Where You Can Vote

How to Find Your Polling Place:

Visit the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s polling place locator web page.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Registering to Vote

Registration Deadlines: You must register 30 days prior to the General Election.  The deadline for this year’s General Election is Sunday, October 4, 2020.

In national elections, however, non-registered eligible potential voters can still register and vote only for president and vice-president on the day of the election at their local Board of Canvassers.  Same day registration is NOT available at early voting sites for national elections.  A list of local Board locations can be found here (http://www.elections.state.ri.us/canvassers/index.php).

How to Check Your Registration: Use Rhode Island’s Registrant Search website or call 866‑OUR‑VOTE.

Registration Eligibility: You may be eligible to register to vote in Rhode Island if you are:

  • a citizen of the United States;
  • a resident of the city or town in Rhode Island where you wish to vote;
  • at least 16 years old on or before Election Day (register) and at least 18 years of age to vote on Election Day;
  • Not be incarcerated in a correctional facility due to a felony conviction;
  • Not be presently judged mentally incompetent to vote by a court.

There is no duration of residence requirement in Rhode Island; you may register the first day that you move to the state. However, you cannot vote for local candidates or issues until you have been registered at that address for 30 days.

How to Register:  Rhode Island residents may register online, by mail, or in-person. 

Online

Visit the Secretary of State’s online voter registration website. You will need a Rhode Island driver’s license or state ID. 

By Mail

In order to register by mail, you must obtain a mail-in registration form by:

  • Downloading a mail-in form from the Secretary of State’s website;
  • Picking up a form at your local board of canvassers, Rhode Island DMV office, or any state agency that provides public assistance or services to persons with disabilities;
  • Picking up a form at a college or university, public school, library, or armed forces recruitment office.

Once you complete the form, you can mail it to your local Board of Canvassers.

In Person

You may register to vote in person in the following ways:

  • When making a transaction at the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles; or
  • At the Board of Canvassers located at the county seat in your county of residence.

Identification Required for Registration

Voters who are registering to vote for the first time in Rhode Island by mail may provide their Rhode Island driver’s license or ID Number, or the last 4 digits of their social security number, if available. Identification can be presented at the polls if the applicant does not include it with the initial application.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Voting Early & by Absentee Ballot

If You Want to Vote Early you must be an otherwise registered voter in the state of Rhode Island.  You may not register same-day for early voting, even to vote only for president and vice‑president.

If You Want to Vote Absentee

A voter may cast an absentee ballot if he or she:

  • Might not be able to vote at his or her polling place on Election Day (g., no excuse or convenience);
  • Will be outside the United States on Election Day;
  • Is ill or has a mental or physical disability that prevents a trip to the polling place;
  • Is confined in a hospital or nursing home within Rhode Island; or
  • Is outside of Rhode Island in connection with military service.

A voter can get an application for a mail (absentee) ballot at the local Board or download one from the Secretary of State’s website.

Emergency Voting: Applications can be made after the absentee deadline if circumstances arise within 20 days of the election which prevent a voter from going to the polls on Election Day. A voter should contact his or her local board of canvassers.

Rules and Deadlines:

  • An absentee ballot application must be received by the local Board no later than 4:00 p.m., 21 days before the election. For the 2018 Election, this deadline is 4:00 p.m. on October 13, 2018.
  • An emergency mail ballot application must be received by the local Board no later than 4:00 p.m. the day before the election;
  • All mail ballots, including emergency mail ballots, must be received by the State Board of Elections by 8:00 p.m. the night of the election. You should allow at least three (3) mailing days to ensure your mail ballot arrives by 8 pm ET on Election Day.

To be accepted, all mailed ballots must be signed by two witnesses or notarized.  This requirement has been challenged by various voting groups in the state.  A federal district judge entered a negotiated decree suspending the witness/notary requirement for mall-in ballots, attached hereto as Exhibit B, on July 30, 2020 as between voters and the state of Rhode Island and, in doing so, denied the motion to intervene filed by the Republican Party of Rhode Island.

The Republican Party of Rhode Island appealed the decree and denial and sought to stay the decree pending resolution on the merits.  On August 7, 2020, the First Circuit granted the appeal as to the intervention (in‑part) but denied the temporary stay of the decree, attached hereto as Exhibit C, which was also appealed.  On August 13, 2020, the Supreme Court entered an order in the pending case denying the application for a temporary stay of the lower court’s decree, attached hereto as Exhibit D.

Because this situation is in flux, voters considering using a mail-in ballot should plan to meet the two witness or notary requirement, if possible, to be on the safe side.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Identification Requirements

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

A voter must provide valid photo identification at the polling place in order to vote a regular ballot. Valid forms of ID are:

  • Valid Rhode Island Driver’s License;
  • Valid Rhode Island Photo Voter ID Card (can be obtained for free);
  • Valid Rhode Island State issued ID;
  • Valid Federally issued ID;
  • Valid U.S. passport;
  • Valid ID card issued by a U.S. educational institution, provided it includes a photo;
  • Valid Military ID card containing a photo; and
  • Valid government issued medical card.

The address on the photo identification does not have to match the address on the voter rolls.

Without one of these forms of identification, a voter is permitted to vote with a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot will be counted if the local Board determines that the signature on the provisional ballot matches the signature on the voter’s registration, or if the voter presents acceptable identification to the local Board by 4:00 p.m. the day after the election.

A voter who is a member of the military or who resides overseas is eligible to vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), and is not required to provide ID when voting with an absentee ballot.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Have Moved Within Your State

If you moved to your current residence fewer than 30 days before the election, you can vote at the polling place for your former address.

You may update your address on your voter registration record if the election is more than 30 days away.  This may be done by submitting a new voter registration form, which can be done online or with a paper form found on the Secretary of State’s website. If you do not update your address before the deadline, the following rules apply:

Moving to a Different District Within The Same City Or Town

If you moved to a different district in the same city or town, you can vote at the polling place of your new address or at the local Board upon completion of an affirmation recording your change of address.

Moving to a Different City or Town If you moved from another city or town within Rhode Island more than 30 days, but less than 6 months, prior to the election, you can vote with a limited ballot at the polling place in your previous city or town of registration.

If you moved from another city or town within Rhode Island 6 months or more before the election, you are only eligible to vote for President and Vice-President during a presidential election.  You can do this at your local Board of Canvassers in your current city or town on Election Day.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Are in the Military or Are an Overseas Voter

Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for absentee voting by mail, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and Merchant Marine, Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States (together these groups are called UOCAVA voters).

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) Rhode Island specific FPCA page.

UOCAVA voters may also register to vote and request an absentee ballot through the Rhode Island Military & Overseas Voting Services website or by calling 800-274-VOTE (8683).

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If the voter wishes to use the fax or email options, s/he must indicate this on her/his FPCA. If the voter chooses to receive a ballot by fax, s/he must submit the request, along with her/his fax number, by 4:00 p.m. at least 21 days before the election. All ballots must be received by the State Board of Elections by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP’s Rhode Island specific FPCA page.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters.

In order to use the FWAB, the voter must be registered to vote and have already requested an absentee ballot at least 21 days before the election.  The voter can use this FWAB whether located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that the voter is away from her/his voting residence for service-related activities. The voter’s FWAB must be received by her/his local voting officials in Rhode Island no later than 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. For specific instructions, visit the FVAP’s Rhode Island specific FWAB page.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Have a Felony Conviction

A resident of Rhode Island who has been convicted of a felony and is currently incarcerated may not vote in Rhode Island elections. However, voting rights are restored to all Rhode Island residents who have been released from incarceration or who were never incarcerated following felony convictions.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Need Assistance Voting

You can request the assistance of a bipartisan pair of poll workers at the place of voting.  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 at the voting location by both the voter and the assistant.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Addendum

Exhibit A

Local Board of Canvassers – Address and Phone Number (August 20, 2020)

City or Town Address Phone Number (401) Regular Operating Hours[1]
Barrington Town Hall 283 County Rd. 02806 247-1900 X1 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday

 

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tues – Thurs.

 

8:30 a.m. – NOON Friday

Bristol Town Hall 10 Court St. 02809 253-7000 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m, M-F
Burrillville Town Hall 105 Harrisville Main St., Harrisville 02830 568-4300 [Not Officially Listed]

M-W – 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Thurs. – 8:30 am – 7 pm

Friday – 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Central Falls City Hall 580 Broad St. 02863 727-7450 Monday-Thursday: 8:30 am -4:30 pm

 

Friday: 8:30 am -1:30 pm

 

*Extended hours every 3rd Thursday of the month, 8:30 am – 7 pm

Charlestown Town Hall 4540 South County Trl. 02813 364-1200 Monday – Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm
Coventry Town Hall 1670 Flat River Rd. 02816 822-9150  

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. M-F

Cranston City Hall 869 Park Ave. 02910 780-3128
Cumberland Town Hall 45 Broad St. 02864 728-2400
East Greenwich Town Hall 125 Main St., 02818 886-8603
East Providence City Hall 145 Taunton Ave. 02914 435-7502 M-F 8am-4pm
Exeter Town Hall 675 Ten Rod Rd. 02822 294-2287 Monday – Thursday

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Closed Fridays

Foster Town Hall 181 Howard Hill Rd. 02825 392-9201 M – Th. 8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Closed F
Glocester Town Hall 1145 Putnam Pike, 02814 568-6206 x0 8:00am – 4:30pm M-F
Hopkinton Town Hall 1 Town House Rd. 02833 377-7777 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. M-F
Jamestown Town Hall 93 Narragansett Ave. 02835 423-9801 Monday thru Thursday from 8 AM to 4:30 PM. The office will be closed on Fridays.
Johnston Town Hall 1385 Hartford Ave. 02919 553-8856 M-F 8:30am-4:30pm
Lincoln Town Hall 100 Old River Rd., 02865 333-1140 Open weekdays from 8:30 – 4:30
Little Compton Town Hall 40 Commons 02837 635-4400 Monday – Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM
Middletown Town Hall 350 East Main Rd. 02842 849-5540 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday
Narragansett Town Hall 25 Fifth Ave. 02882 782-0625 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Newport City Hall 43 Broadway 02840 845-5386 8:30-4:30 M-F
New Shoreham Town Hall 16 Old Town Rd., 02807 466-3200 Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 3:00pm.
North Kingstown Town Hall 100 Fairway Dr., 02852 294-3331 x128 M-F: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30
North Providence Town Hall 2000 Smith St. 02911 232-0900 x234 M-F: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30
North Smithfield Town Hall 83 Green Street. 02896 767-2200 Monday – Wednesday 8:00am to 4:00pm

Thursday 8:00am to 7:00pm

Friday 8:00am to 12:00pm

Pawtucket City Hall 137 Roosevelt Ave. 02860 722-1637 Monday – Friday

8:30AM to 4:30PM

Portsmouth Town Hall 2200 East Main Rd. 02871 683-3157 [Closed due to Covid-19]
Providence City Hall 25 Dorrance St., Room 102 02903 421-0495 Monday-Friday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm (September-June)

Monday-Friday: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm (July-August)

Richmond Town Hall 5 Richmond Townhouse Rd., Wyoming 02898 539-9000 x9 9:00 AM —  4:00 PM, M-F
Scituate Town Hall 195 Danielson Pike, North Scituate 02857 647-7466 8:30 am to 4:00 pm on M-F
Smithfield Town Hall 64 Farnum Pike, Esmond 02917 233-1000 x116 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, M-F
South Kingstown Town Hall 180 High St., Wakefield 02879 789-9331 x1231  

8:30am to 4:30pm, M-F

Tiverton Town Hall 343 Highland Rd. 02878 625-6703 M-F 8:30am-4:30pm
Warren Town Hall 514 Main St. 02885 245-7340 x4 Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm
Warwick City Hall 3275 Post Rd. 02886 738-2010 Monday – Friday: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
West Greenwich Town Hall 280 Victory Hwy. 02817 392-3800 Monday thru Friday 8:30am – 4pm
West Warwick Town Hall 1170 Main St. 02893 822-9201 [Not Officially Listed]
Westerly Town Hall 45 Broad St. 02891 348-2503 Monday through Friday from 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m.
Woonsocket City Hall 169 Main St., 02895 767-9221 Monday – Friday: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

[1] Counsel clients that certain mask requirements may be applicable to access the premises of these voting locations and that they should check with the town hall on any other restrictions or changes to regular business hours.

Exhibit B

Consent Judgment and Decree, at Docket No. 26

Common Cause R.I., et al. v. Gorbea, Case No.  1:20-cv-00318-MSM-LDA (D.R.I. July 30, 2020)

Exhibit C

Opinion of the First Circuit Court of Appeals Denying Stay, at Docket No. 00117626238 

Republican Nat. Comm., et al. v. Common Cause R.I., No. 20-1753 (1st Cir. Aug. 7, 2020)

Exhibit D

Order in Pending Case of the U.S. Supreme Court Denying Stay

Republican Nat. Comm., et al. v. Common Cause R.I., No. 20A28, 591 U.S. ­___ (Aug. 13, 2020)

 

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Election Protection Materials

FAQ

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!