AARP AARP States Rhode Island Voters

How to Vote in Rhode Island’s 2022 Elections

En español | Rhode Island’s Nov. 8 general election will decide races for governor as well as the U.S. House of Representatives, state legislature and other state offices. The primary was held Sept. 13.

Essential info:

  • Mail voting: All registered voters can vote by mail without a reason under a new law changing how you vote.
  • Early in-person voting: You can vote early and in person from Oct. 19 through Nov. 7 at a location designated by your city or town.

  • In-person voting on Election Day: The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you live in New Shoreham, polls are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Voters In Rhode Island
Stickers are passed out to voters at a polling place in Cranston.
Boston Globe/Boston Globe via Getty Images

What's new this year?

Under a new law, all registered voters are permitted to cast a mail ballot without a reason – and the signatures of two witnesses or that of a notary on mail ballots are no longer required. The law also grants residents of nursing facilities the right to be placed on a permanent mail ballot list, allowing them to automatically receive a mail ballot application each election.


What races are on the ballot?

  • Governor: Ashley Kalus (R), incumbent Gov. Dan McKee (D) 
  • U.S. House
    • District 1: incumbent Rep. David Cicilline (D), Allen Waters (R)
    • District 2: Allan Fung (R), Seth Magaziner (D)
  • State Senate: all 38 seats
  • State House: all 75 seats
  • Lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and general treasurer

How do I register to vote?

  • Online: Go to Rhode Island’s voter information portal to register or update your information. You must provide your Rhode Island driver’s license or state ID number and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • By mail: Download a registration form, complete it and mail it to your local board of canvassers. Or call your local board of canvassers and request that one be mailed to you. You can also pick up a registration form at public libraries and some other state agencies.

You’ll automatically be registered to vote at a Division of Motor Vehicles appointment unless you opt out.

Registration forms must be received by Oct. 9. If you register in person, you must return your form by 4 p.m. on that date. Use Rhode Island’s voter information portal to check your registration status.

How can I get a mail ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Any registered voter can request a mail ballot and vote from home in November’s general election. Rhode Island also has launched a mail ballot application portal that allows voters to partially fill out a ballot request form.

Request a ballot online, by mail or in person:

How do I return my mail ballot?

Your signature is required on your completed mail ballot and the certificate envelope. But you no longer need the signature of two witnesses or a notary. 

Return completed ballots by mail or in person:

  • By mail: Place the mail ballot certificate envelope in the larger, pre-addressed return envelope, seal it and mail it to the state board of elections. Prepaid postage is included. Allow seven mailing days to ensure the board of elections receives it by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

If you'd planned to vote in person on Election Day but an emergency prevents you from doing so, you can apply for an emergency mail ballot and vote at your local board of canvassers until Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. Contact your local board of canvassers for more information.

Track your ballot at the state’s voter information portal by entering your information into BallotTrax.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes, from Oct. 19 through Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. at your local board of canvassers or another location designated by your city or town. A complete list of early voting locations and hours is available at the voter information portal.  

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you live in New Shoreham, polls are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. You will be allowed to vote after the polls close if you are line by 8 p.m.

Use Rhode Island’s voter information portal to find your polling place.

For information about becoming a poll worker, visit the secretary of state’s website.

Do I need identification to vote?

Yes, you’ll need to show a photo ID — like a Rhode Island driver’s license, state voter ID card or U.S. passport — at the polling place. If you don’t have ID, you’ll receive a provisional ballot.

ID is not required to vote by mail unless you’re a first-time voter who didn’t provide your driver’s license or the last four digits of your Social Security number when you registered. In that case, you’d need to provide an acceptable ID, such as a driver’s license, voter ID card, utility bill or bank statement.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Sept. 14 with information about the general election. The guide was first published on Aug. 19, 2020.

Also of Interest

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