Last update: Sep 20, 2023 07:31 a.m. EDT
Last update: Sep 19, 2023 11:10 a.m. UTC
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These guides are researched, written, and updated by Democracy Works, a non-partisan 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization, to inform voters via TurboVote and other partners. The information in these guides originates from official state sources and is reviewed by state election offices. The guides also link to authoritative state and local resources to provide additional information.
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Rhode Island offers online voter registration. You can register by mail to vote in Rhode Island by printing a voter registration form, filling it out, and mailing it to your local election office. You can also register to vote in person if you prefer.
Who can register to vote?
To register in Rhode Island you must:
- be a citizen of the United States
- be a resident of Rhode Island
- be at least 16 years of age (you must be 18 years of age to vote on Election Day)
- not be currently incarcerated in a correctional facility due to a felony conviction
- not have been lawfully judged to be mentally incompetent
Can I register to vote online?
- Rhode Island offers online voter registration.
- You should know: you need a Rhode Island DMV issued driver's license or state ID to use Rhode Island's online voter registration system. If you don't have a Rhode Island-issued ID, you can still register to vote by mail or in person.
Can I submit voter registration forms by mail?
Use the National Voter Registration Form
- Print and fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
- Box 6 - ID Number: The applicant shall be required to provide their Rhode Island driver's license number or Rhode Island-issued ID number if the applicant has been issued a current and valid Rhode Island driver's license or Rhode Island-issued ID. In the case of an applicant who has not been issued a current and valid Rhode Island driver's license or Rhode Island-issued ID, they must provide the last four (4) digits of their Social Security number. An applicant who has neither will be assigned a unique identifying number by the State of Rhode Island.
- Box 7 - Choice of Party: If you are affiliated with a political party, you may only vote in that party’s primary. Unaffiliated, also known as independent, voters can vote in any party primary but, by casting a vote in a party primary, you automatically become affiliated with that party. If you want to return to an unaffiliated status and plan to vote at the polls, you may request a “disaffiliation form” from your poll worker and fill it out before leaving your polling place. If you vote by mail ballot, you can change your party online, complete a new paper voter registration form, or contact your local board of canvassers. You will officially return to your unaffiliated status in 30 days.
- Box 8 - Race or Ethnic Group: Leave blank. This information is not required.
- Review the "Who can register to vote?" section above and check that you're eligible.
- Sign the form.
- Send the completed form to your local election office
- If you are registering to vote for the first time in your jurisdiction and are mailing this registration application, Federal law requires you to show proof of identification the first time you vote. Proof of identification includes:
- A current and valid photo identification or
- A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address.
Can I register to vote on Election Day?
Rhode Island allows for same day voter registration for the Presidential Election only. If you miss the voter registration deadline, you can register to vote on Election Day, but you will only be able to vote for President and Vice President. You will not be able to vote in any state, local, or other federal races. You can only register and vote on Election Day at the location designated by your local board of canvassers.
Can I submit voter registration forms in person?
- You can also register to vote in person. Contact your local election office for information on when and where to register to vote.
- Learn more by visiting the Rhode Island Department of State Elections Division's website or contacting your local election office.
Get Ready to Vote
How do I get help registering to vote?
If you’d like more help planning how to register, TurboVote can walk you through the process! They can also help you start the absentee/mail-in ballot request process, send you election reminders, and more.
How do I vote if I'm in the military or live overseas?
Active-duty military, their families, and overseas citizens can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA process is done by mail, but your state may offer other options to request and return ballots. Please contact your local election office for more information about delivery and return methods, including email, fax, and state online portals. To follow the FPCA process:
- Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your local election office may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
- Send the application to your local election office.
- It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible.
- Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it.
- States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven't received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office.
If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your local election office first. Then:
- You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
- If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.
How can I check my voter registration status?
You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using Rhode Island's voter registration lookup tool.
Which election office should I contact?
- In Rhode Island, your local election office runs the elections in your area. They can help you with questions about registering to vote, voting by mail, and local elections.
- The Department of State Elections Division oversees elections and election administration in Rhode Island. They can help you with questions about voting in your state, election security, or issues you might have at the polls. If you have concerns about voter intimidation, reach out immediately.
How do I contact my local election office?
Visit your state’s site to find your local election office.