Voting in Rhode Island
Voting in 2014 Primaries
Ballot access for major and minor party candidates
Absentee voting • Early voting
Open Primary • Closed Primary • Blanket Primary
Online voter registration in the 50 states
To vote in Rhode Island, you must meet the following requirements:
- a citizen of the United States,
- a resident of the Rhode Island city or town where you wish to vote, and
- at least 16 years of age. You must be at least 18 years of age to vote.
When and where
The deadline to register to vote is at least 30 days prior to an election. You can also register to vote in person on Election Day. You can register to vote by mail as well by sending a completed Rhode Island Voter Registration form or a National Voter Registration form to your local board of canvassers.
As of August 2014, Rhode Island is one of the 35 states that have not implemented online voter registration.
Voting on election day
Identification is required at the polls. If a voter is unable to present photo ID they can use certain non-photo IDs. The ID must include your name and address. Additionally, the identification must be dated since November 2, 2010, unless the document is of permanent nature (such as a birth certificate or social security card). In such cases, only a name is required to appear on the identification.
- See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times
Rhode Island is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. Unaffiliated voters may vote in a party's primary, but they will then be considered affiliated with that party. In order to disaffiliate, they must file a "Change of Party Designation" form.
- See also: Absentee voting
All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Rhode Island. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee.
Absentee ballot applications must be received by the county election office by 4 p.m. on the 21st day before the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by 9 p.m. on election day.
Military and overseas voting
For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.
- See also: Early voting
Rhode Island is one of seven states that do not have any form of early voting.
- Rhode Island Secretary of State, "Register to Vote," accessed June 10, 2014
- Rhode Island Secretary of State, "Voter ID," accessed June 10, 2014
- Rhode Island Board of Elections, "General Election Polling Place Hours," accessed January 3, 2014
- Rhode Island Board of Elections Website, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed January 3, 2014
- Rhode Island Board of Elections, "Mail Ballot Overview," accessed December 16, 2013
- Rhode Island Board of Elections, "How do I apply for a Mail Ballot?" accessed December 16, 2013
- National Conference of State Legislatures "Absentee and Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013