Rhode Island Voting Information
- Absentee Ballot Process
- Campaign Finance Information
- Candidate and Ballot Measure Information
- Drop Boxes
- Early Voting
- Election Dates
- Eligibility Requirements
- ID Needed for Voter Registration
- ID Needed for Voting?
- Official Results
- Overseas and Military Voters
- Poll Worker Information
- Polling Place Hours
- Polling Place Locator
- Provisional Voting
- Provisions for Voters with Disabilities
- Registration Deadline
- Time Off To Vote
- Verify Voter Registration
- Voting Machines
Absentee Ballot Process
Absentee voting is available if you meet any of the criteria below. The last day to request an absentee ballot is 21 days before the election. You can return your absentee ballot request form through the mail or in person. Voted ballots must be received by 8pm on Election Day in order to be counted. You can sign up to track your absentee ballot on your Department of State website. Contact your local elections office for more information.
Those who requested an absentee ballot but end up voting in person may only do so by a provisional ballot. Do not mail a ballot and vote in person. For specifics, you can find your local county clerk contact info here.
If you are a registered voter, you may vote by mail (absentee voting) only if:
- You are physically unable to vote in a polling place because of illness or physical or mental disability
- You are confined to a nursing home, convalescent home or hospital
- You are away due to employment or service connected with military operations or because you are a spouse or legal dependent who lives with that person or a U.S. citizen who will be outside the United States
- You may not be able to vote at your assigned polling place the day of election.
The application must be filled out, witnessed or notarized and delivered to the local board so that it is received no later than 4:00 pm on the 21st day before the election. The completed application may be mailed, dropped off by you or personally delivered by a person acting at your request.
If emergency circumstances arise after the regular mail ballot application deadline, you may apply for an emergency mail ballot at your local board of canvassers. You can apply up until 4 p.m. on the day before an election. Your emergency mail ballot must be received by the state Board of Elections no later than 9 p.m. the day of the election.
Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.Request your Ballot
Campaign Finance Information
Candidate and Ballot Measure Information
Voters may utilize any drop box in any Rhode Island City/Town Hall. The drop box does not need to be in the City/Town where you reside and are registered. In addition, the Board voted to allow drop boxes in every polling location. Voters may place the completed oath envelope with the enclosed voted ballot in the drop box of his/her choosing.
Early Voting is now available! Early voting takes place in the 20 days before the Election and takes place at your city or town hall during their regular business hours. Just be sure to bring your photo ID with you in order to cast your ballot. Otherwise, early voting is very similar to Election Day voting at your polling location.
To be eligible to vote you must be:
- A citizen of the United States
- A resident of a Rhode Island city or town where you wish to vote
- At least 16 years old. However, you must be 18 years old on or before the election to vote in the election
- Not currently deemed non-compos mentis by a court of law.
- Not currently incarcerated in a correctional facility under felony conviction
ID Needed for Voter Registration
If you are a first time voter, you must provide your valid state driver's license number or valid state ID number issued by the state division of motor vehicles. If you do not have a valid state driver's license or state ID number, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you do not have a driver's license, state ID or Social Security number; if these numbers cannot be verified; or if you fail to complete this item on the registration form, you will be required to present one form of identification at the time of registration prior to voting or at the time of voting.
A copy of a current and valid photo ID provided by a third party in the ordinary course of business that includes your name and photo. Examples:
- Driver's license or ID card of any state
- US passport
- 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
Or a copy of any of the following documents, provided that they include the name and current address of the registering voter and it is dated since the date of the last General Election, unless the document is inteded to be permanent such as a pardon or discharge:
- Utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government check
- Government paycheck
- Document issued by a government agency
- Sample ballot or other official elections document issued by a governmental agency, dated for the election in which the individual is providing it as proof of residency or identity
- Voter notification card 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 agency
- Tuition statement or bill issued by a governmental agency
- Insurance plan card or drug discount card issued by a government agency
- Discharge certificates, pardons, or other official documents issued to the individual by a governmental agency in connection with the resolution of a criminal case, indictment, sentence; or other matter
- Public transportation authority senior citizen and disabled discount cards issued by a governmental agency
- ID documents issued by a governmental disability agency
- ID documents issued by government homeless shelters and other government 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
You can bring one of the IDs listed above to the polling place on Election day, or mail a copy of the ID to the local board of canvassers before Election Day.
ID Needed for Voting?
Voters must show a photo ID at the polls.
Acceptable IDs include:
- RI driver's license
- U.S. passport
- ID card issued by an educational institution in the United States
- U.S. military identification card
- ID card issued by the U.S. government or State of Rhode Island like a RIPTA bus pass
- Government-issued medical card
- RI Voter ID
Registered voters who don't have an acceptable current and valid photo ID can get a free Voter ID the Secretary of State office in Providence during normal business hours. To find more information on where to get a free Voter ID and for information on how to get a Voter ID visit the Secretary of State website.
No eligible voter will be turned away at the polls. Voters who do not bring an acceptable ID to their polling place can vote using a standard Provisional Ballot. The ballot will be counted if the signature they give at the polling place matches the signature on their voter registration.
Official results are never available on Election Day. Election officials are working around the clock to count an unprecedented number of ballots, and it’s essential that they take the time to make sure every vote is counted.
The only ballots reported on election night will be from in-person voting. Officials expect to release results from all mail ballots Wednesday evening (the day following the election), after they are all counted. Official election results will be uploaded on Rhode Island’s State Board of Elections website as they become available.Official Results
Overseas and Military Voters
You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependent of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.
If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.
Poll Worker Information
In order to be a poll worker in Rhode Island, you must be:
- Registered to vote in Rhode Island
- Able to read the Constitution of the sate in English
- Able to write your own name
You are ineligible to be a poll worker if:
- You are a candidate for public office
- Have been convicted, found guilty, pleaded guilty or nolo contendere, or placed on a deferred or suspended sentence, or on probation for any crime which involves moral turpitude or which constitutes a violation of any of the election or caucus laws of this or any state
- Are a federal, state, municipal employee - except teacher - only in primary elections
Polling Place Hours
Please note: All polling place locations will close at 8pm. Most places will be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm, opening hours may vary, but all polls close at 8:00 pm.
Polling Place Locator
You may vote a provisional ballot if you meet specific conditions.
You may use a provisional ballot if:
- You are not on the list of registered voters at that polling place
- You requested/voted a mail ballot
- You registered to vote in one political party and attempting to vote in another parties primary
- You did not bring acceptable photo ID
- Your identity is challenged at the polling place
Provisional ballots are counted 48 hours after Election Day. Provisional ballots are eligible for verification if cast in the correct precinct.You may then determine the disposition of their ballot by visiting your board of elections.
Provisions for Voters with Disabilities
If you are blind, disabled or unable to read or write, you may be given assistance at the polls by a person of your choice as long as that person is not your employer or agent of your employer, or officer or agent of your union.
Every polling place is situated in a building which can be entered and exited by persons who are disabled or elderly. If you are disabled or elderly and the assigned polling place is inaccessible, the local board must provide alternative means for you to cast a ballot on Election Day. DRE machines will be available for the handicapped.
If you are blind, visually impaired, or disabled, you may apply for a braille or tactile mail ballot. You must be a registered voter in Rhode Island and submit an application for a mail ballot in addition to the request for a braille or tactile ballot for each election.
For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.
You must be registered 30 days before an election to vote in a municipal or state election.
To vote in a Presidential election, you may register and vote on Election Day at designated polling places, but you may only vote for the offices of the President and Vice President, not in state, local or other federal races.
Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application!
Time Off To Vote
Time off to vote is subject to the employer, there is no requirement for employers to grant time off to vote for employees.
Verify Voter Registration
To verify your voter registration statusclick here!
The voting systems used in Rhode Island are optical scan and DRE.
Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are finished filling out all the cards, you may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.
Direct Recording Electronic (DRE): This is the newest kind of system in use in the U.S. All the information about who and what you are voting for is on an electronic screen like a TV or computer screen.
There are many variations of DREs because lots of companies are inventing new ones, and many cities, counties and states are trying them out. Usually, after you have signed in, the poll workers will give you a card that you slide into a device to start your voting session.
Some of these devices will show all of the candidates and ballot choices on one big screen. Often, with these big screen devices you push a button next to the name of the candidate you want to vote for (or yes or no on a ballot measure). On other DREs, the screen is set up to show pages. On each screen or page, there will probably be one thing to vote on. For example, on one screen or page, you might vote for president. Then you might move to the next page to vote for senator. Often these small-screen devices have a touch screen where you touch the screen next to the name of the person you want to vote for. Other devices have a key pad. And some have a keyboard, so you can write in the name of someone you want to vote for.
You let the system know you are finished voting by pushing a button, touching the screen or entering something on a keypad.
You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource.
Personalized voting information
- See What's On Your Ballot
- Check Your Voter Registration
- Find Your Polling Place
- Discover Upcoming Debates and Forum in Your Area