Voting in Rhode Island
Voter Registration In Rhode Island
Who Can Register In Rhode Island
To register to vote in Rhode Island, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be a resident of the Rhode Island city or town where you wish to vote
- Be at least 16 years of age (you must be at least 18 years of age to vote)
- Not have been legally judged mentally incompetent by a court of law
- Not be a convicted felon still in prison. Once out of prison, you can restore your right to vote by either notifying your local board of canvassers in writing or by submitting a new voter registration form.
You must register to vote at least 30 days before the election you wish to vote in.
Rhode Island Election Day Registration
If you’re eligible to vote in Rhode Island but have not yet registered, you can register and vote for President/Vice-President only at your city or town hall on Election Day. Be sure to register by the deadline to vote in all other elections.
You can pre-register to vote in Rhode Island when you turn 16.
Voting Rights Restoration
Rhode Island does remove voting rights for people with felony convictions. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release.
If you have a past conviction, learn more about your eligibility to vote here.
Voting In Rhode Island
Where To Vote In Rhode Island
Vote-by-mail & Absentee
Voters must provide an excuse to vote absentee/by mail in Rhode Island, but any excuse may be given.
Early Voting In Rhode Island
Rhode Island offers in-person early voting. No excuse is needed to vote early.
Primary Elections In Rhode Island
Rhode Island has semi-open primaries. If you are affiliated with a specific 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. To return to an unaffiliated status, you may request a “disaffiliation form” from poll workers and fill it out before leaving the polling place. You will officially return to your unaffiliated status in 90 days. 17-year-olds cannot vote in the primary election even if they will be 18 by the corresponding general election.
Voter ID In Rhode Island
Voter ID Requirements
Photo ID is required to vote in Rhode Island. Valid forms of ID include:
- RI Driver's License or Permit
- RI Voter ID Card
- U.S. Passport
- ID issued by a U.S. educational institution
- U.S. military ID
- ID card issued by the United States or the State of Rhode Island
- Government issued medical card
- Tribal ID
If you do not have an approved form of ID, the Rhode Island Secretary of State's office will issue you a free voter photo ID card. See the Secretary of State's website for additional information on the program and the documents required to obtain a voter photo ID card, or call (401) 222-2340.
If you go to your polling place without an approved form of ID, you can vote a provisional ballot. You will have until the close of business the day after the election to provide information to the Board of Canvassers to help qualify the ballot.
Additional Rhode Island Resources
Your State Election Official
Rhode Island Secretary of State
Nellie M. Gorbea
Phone number: 401.222.2357