IMPORTANT NOTICE: All General Election information presented here, including dates and deadlines, is accurate as of November 2020. The US General Election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 has now passed. You can still find information on important dates here, including when ballots must be received by your state.
The information on this page applies to the November 3, 2020 General Election. Voting for that election has ended in all states.
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
- 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.
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: 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.
- Box 8 - Race or Ethnic Group: Leave blank. This information is not required.
- Review the "Who can vote?" section above and check that you're eligible.
- Sign the form.
- Send the completed form to your local election official
- 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.
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.
Due to COVID-19, in-person services may have limited availability. Contact your local election office to confirm. See CDC guidance on safe in-person registration and voting.
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.
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). The FPCA process is done by mail, but your state may offer other options to request and return ballots. Please contact your election official
for more information about delivery and return methods, including email, fax, and state online portals. To follow the FPCA process:
If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:
- 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.
- Send the application to your election official.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org