How to register to vote in Rhode Island

This information is for the November 3rd general election. For information on the September 8, 2020 state primary, check with the Rhode Island election office. 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 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
  • *find more information on voting rights restoration here

Online voter registration

  • 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 by mail to vote.
  • You can register online to vote until Sunday, October 4, 2020.

By-mail voter registration

Use the Rhode Island voter registration form

You can also register to vote using the Rhode Island voter registration form. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and fill it out completely. Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be postmarked by Sunday, October 4, 2020.

Use the National Voter Registration Form

  1. Print and fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
  2. 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.
  3. Box 7 – Choice of Party: Rhode Island requires that you register with a party to participate in partisan primary elections. You should register with the party whose primary you would like to vote in. If you do not affiliate with a party now, you may still declare a party affiliation at the polls on primary election day.
  4. Box 8 – Race or Ethnic Group: Leave blank. This information is not required.
  5. Review the “Who can vote?” section above and check that you’re eligible.
  6. Sign the form.
  7. Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be postmarked by Sunday, October 4, 2020.
  8. 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. More information here.

Election Day registration

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.

In-person voter registration

Get step-by-step help

TurboVote can help you start the absentee/mail-in ballot request process, send you election reminders, and more. If you’d like more help planning how to vote, we can walk you through the process!

Military and overseas voters

Active-duty military, their families, and overseas citizens can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). To do so:

  1. Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
  2. Send the application to your election official.
  3. It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
  4. Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Following are recommended return dates to make sure your ballot arrives at your election office on time:
    • 35 days before election – On a ship at sea: September 28, 2020
    • 30 days before election – Outside of the US: October 2, 2020
    • 11 days before the election – Stateside: October 23, 2020
  5. 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 election official 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.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program – FVAP.gov offers additional information on military and overseas voting in Rhode Island. You can also call 1-800-438-VOTE or email vote@fvap.gov

Check your 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.

Dates and deadlines

  • Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
  • The deadline to register online to vote is Sunday, October 4, 2020.
  • The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (postmarked by) Sunday, October 4, 2020.
  • The deadline to register in person to vote is Sunday, October 4, 2020.
  • The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Tuesday, October 13, 2020.
  • The early voting period runs from Wednesday, October 14, 2020 to Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.

Election contact information for Rhode Island

Address:
Department of State’s Election Division
148 West River Street
Providence, RI 02904

Phone Number:
(401) 222-2340