A guide to safe and healthy voting in 2020.

Use this page to prepare for the 2020 elections by making sure you’ve gone through all the steps listed below.

Register to vote.
Verify or update your registration status.
Decide how you want to vote.
Apply for a mail ballot.
Vote early in-person at your board of canvassers.
Vote at the polls on Election Day.
Volunteer to help voters on Election Day.

Step 1: Register to vote.

Make sure you are registered to vote by the deadline.

October 4: The deadline to register in order to vote in the General Election.

The fastest and easiest way to register is online, but that requires a driver’s license or state identification number. Other options for registering:

  • Download and print a paper form to complete, and mail it to your local board of canvassers.
  • Call your local board of canvassers to request that a paper form be mailed to you.
  • Visit your local board of canvassers to register in-person.

Click here to view a list of boards of canvassers in Rhode Island and find the one closest to you.

If you have a past felony conviction but are not currently incarcerated, you are still eligible to vote! In Rhode Island, people with felony convictions can vote after they are released from incarceration, even if they are on probation, parole, or sentenced to home confinement.

Step 2: Verify or update your registration status.

Even if you are sure that you are already registered to vote, it is important to check your registration status often to make sure you haven’t been removed from the voter rolls by mistake.

To check your registration status, or to update your voter record to reflect a change of address or party affiliation, visit the Secretary of State’s website. Other options for updating your voter record:

  • Download and print a paper form to complete, and mail it to your local board of canvassers.
  • Call your local board of canvassers to request that a paper form be mailed to you.
  • Visit your local board of canvassers to update your voter record in-person.

Click here to view a list of boards of canvassers in Rhode Island and find the one closest to you.

Step 3: Decide how you want to vote.

This year, voters have three options to choose from when deciding how to vote safely.

Option 1: Apply for a mail ballot.

The deadline for requesting a mail ballot for the primary election has passed. See Option 2 or Option 3 to learn how you can cast a ballot on or before September 8th.

If you want to vote by mail ballot in the November 3rd general election, you must request one by October 13th at 4:00 PM. Please note that you will need to send in an application form for the general election even if you previously applied for a mail ballot for the June 2nd presidential primary or the September 8th state primary. Submit your application AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to help reduce delays and ensure that you receive your mail ballot before Election Day.

The easiest way to apply for a mail ballot is to download and print a mail ballot application, complete the application form, and mail it to your local board of canvassers. Other options for applying for a mail ballot:

  • Call your local board of canvassers to request that a mail ballot application be mailed to you. Ask them to send a postage paid return envelope with the application.
  • Visit your local board of canvassers to request a mail ballot in-person.

Click here to view a list of boards of canvassers in Rhode Island and find the one closest to you.

Once you receive your mail ballot, be sure to cast your vote and return the ballot by mail as soon as possible. Your ballot must be RECEIVED (not postmarked) no later than 8:00 PM on Election Day to be counted. The U.S. Postal Service is experiencing longer delays than usual because of the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure that your ballot is counted, be sure to send it as soon as possible to avoid delays with the Postal Service.

If you want to ensure that your ballot is received before the deadline, you may choose to drop your ballot in one of the drop boxes located across the state. Secure drop boxes are located at every city and town hall in Rhode Island, at the Board of Elections headquarters in Cranston, and will also be at polling places on Election Day. You can drop your ballot in any drop box in the state, regardless of where you are registered to vote.

If you have applied for a mail ballot, you can track its status by using the Secretary of State’s mail ballot tracking system. The tracking system will tell you when your application was received, whether or not it was accepted, and when the ballot was mailed to you. After you return your ballot, the tracker will show when it was received, whether or not it was accepted, and finally, when it was counted. You should be notified if your mail ballot application or voted ballot are not accepted, and be given an opportunity to fix any problems.

Option 2: Vote early in-person at your board of canvassers.

If you would like to vote in-person, but do not want to wait in line at the polls on Election Day, you can vote early at a site designated by your local board of canvassers. Early voting for the primary starts on August 19th and for the general election on October 14th.

Click here to find contact information for your local board of canvassers.

 

Option 3: Vote at the polls on Election Day.

Voters who wish to vote in-person on Election Day can still go to the polls as usual. Poll workers will be equipped with face masks and other protective equipment to ensure the health of both poll workers and voters.

If you have one of the allowed forms of photo identification, don’t forget to bring it with you. Find more information about Rhode Island’s voter ID laws here. Don’t forget, if you do not have an acceptable form of identification, you can still vote a provisional ballot.

November 3: General election.

Step 4: Volunteer to help voters on Election Day.

Option 1: Sign up to be an Election Protection volunteer with Common Cause Rhode Island.

Election protection volunteers visit polling places on Election Day to make sure everything is running smoothly and assist voters who have issues casting their ballots.

Option 2: Volunteer as a poll worker to help at a polling place on Election Day.

Cities and towns have a critical need for poll workers.

Who We Are

This project is sponsored by a coalition of community organizations working to provide information and resources to Rhode Island voters.

Vote Safe RI is a voter education project supported by a coalition of community organizations working to provide information and resources to Rhode Island voters.

ACLU of Rhode Island
Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE)
Clean Water Action Rhode Island
Common Cause Rhode Island
Latino Policy Institute
League of Women Voters of Rhode Island
NAACP Providence Branch
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England
Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence
Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless
Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights
Rhode Island Latino PAC
Rhode Island Working Families Party
Sunrise Providence
Women’s Fund of Rhode Island
The Womxn Project