Accessibility and Voting Assistance
Voters needing an accessible ballot and voting assistance can cast their ballot one of two ways; with an accessible mail ballot or by voting in-person.
Casting your vote at home using an accessible mail ballot
What is an accessible ballot?
An accessible ballot is an electronic ballot made available to voters that indicate this choice on their mail ballot application. A voter can view their mail ballot via their online voter record on vote.ri.gov and mark their ballot online using accessibility tools provided in the software. The voter can print their ballot and return the marked ballot in the envelopes provided as part of the mail ballot package the voter received in the mail.
To receive an accessible mail ballot, follow the steps below.
- Download and complete a mail ballot application and check off the box to the right requesting an accessible mail ballot.
- Sign and return the mail ballot application to your local board of canvassers.
- The local board of canvassers will process the application and flag the voter as requesting an accessible ballot.
- Receive your mail ballot package in the mail
- Log into your voter record by visiting vote.ri.gov
- Once in your voter record, click the link that says "Alternative Voting Materials"
- You will be directed to an online version of your mail ballot
- Mark your mail ballot using the accessibility tool and print your ballot.
- Follow the instructions on how to return your mail ballot to the Board of Elections by 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
In accordance with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and state law, an accessible voting unit (AutoMark) will be available at each polling place for every primary and election.
All registered voters are automatically entitled to use the accessible voting equipment located at each polling place. No special applications are required.
Each polling place will have at least one handicapped-accessible voting booth designated for priority use by voters over 65 years of age or disabled. Voters who have a medical disability which would cause the voter to experience severe discomfort by standing in line will be allowed to move to the front of the line.
Each polling place will also be equipped with a sheet magnifier to assist voters who are visually impaired.
Casting your vote in-person using the accessible AutoMark equipment
On Election Day, follow the steps below to make sure you are ready to #BEAVOTER!
Before heading to the polls, be sure to visit Your Personal Voter Information Center to:
- Verify that your address is up to date
- See a sample ballot to familiarize yourself with the races and questions you will vote on
- Find your polling place and check polling place hours
- Find contact information for your local board of canvassers
Bring A Valid Photo ID
Poll workers will ask you to show a current and valid photo ID when you vote at your polling place. If you do not bring an acceptable photo ID to the polls, you may cast a provisional ballot. This means that your vote may be counted by your local board of canvassers after they verify your eligibility.
For a complete list of acceptable photo IDs and to learn about provisional ballots, refer to the FAQ section.
Get your ballot
Check in with poll workers by giving your name, address and photo ID. They will locate your name in the electronic poll book and ask you to sign on the electronic poll pad.
The poll workers will initial your signature and provide you with the appropriate ballot and a secrecy folder. The secrecy folder helps to ensure the privacy of your election choice(s).
Go to the AutoMark voting booth to mark your ballot
Mark your ballot in private by placing it into the AutoMark unit.
Follow the instructions and make your selections by using the keypad or touchscreen.
If you make a mistake while marking your ballot, a poll worker will be able to assist you in obtaining a replacement ballot.
Proceed to the voting machine
To protect your privacy, place the ballot in the secrecy folder and proceed to the voting machine.
Counting your vote
Remove your ballot from the secrecy folder and insert your ballot into the voting machine.
The machine will scan your vote and indicate that your vote is counted.
If you made an error while voting, the machine will indicate that you made an error and ask if you would like to correct your error or continue casting your ballot.
Place the empty secrecy folder on the table next to the voting machine and proudly wear your “I voted” sticker.