How to Vote Early Before Election Day


In the 20 days leading up to Election Day, you can vote in person at your city or town hall or at a designated location during regular business hours. This is a great option if you are unable to vote at your usual polling place on Election Day, or if you have run out of time to request a mail ballot. View voting locations and hours in your community.

Accessible Voters – visit our Accessible and Voting Assistance page for additional information on using the Express Vote during the Early Voting period.

Voting early is very similar to voting at a polling place. The following steps outline just how simple the process is.

STEP
1

Most cities and towns will host early voting at their local board of canvassers located in your city/town hall. Be sure to check the designated early voting location.

STEP
2

You will be asked to show a valid photo ID. If you do not bring an acceptable photo ID when voting in person, you will vote an emergency mail ballot.

For a complete list of acceptable photo IDs download this informational flyer.

If you do not have a valid photo ID, the Elections Division at the RI Department of State will issue one. Call 401.222.2340 or email [email protected] to learn more.

TransVoters – learn more about getting a photo ID that matches your current appearance if you need one to vote in person.

STEP
3

Check in with the elections official 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 book.

The elections official will initial your signature.

Voters needing assistance marking their ballot may choose to use the ExpressVote. If you want to use the ExpressVote to mark your ballot, inform the elections official and you will be provided with a ballot card and a secrecy folder. The secrecy folder helps to ensure the privacy of your election choice(s).

STEP
4

This infographic shows the two options for marking your ballot.

Proceed to the privacy area provided to fill out your ballot.

First, read the instructions carefully on how to mark your ballot and check both sides of the ballot. Note how many candidates you can vote for or if you are to approve or reject a referendum question.

If voting a ballot, be sure to completely fill the oval next to your choice(s) using the black pen provided.

Write-in option when applicable: To vote for a candidate whose name is not on the ballot, you can fill in the oval to the left of “Write-in” and print the name clearly in the box.

ExpressVote Users: Proceed to the ExpressVote, insert the ballot card and follow the instructions using the marking tools.

If you make a mistake or need assistance while marking your ballot, the clerk will be able to assist you in obtaining a replacement ballot and answering any questions you may have.

STEP
5

Once you have completed your ballot or ExpressVote ballot card, place it into the secrecy folder and proceed to the voting machine.

Remove your ballot or ExpressVote ballot card from the secrecy folder and insert it into the voting machine.

The machine will scan your ballot or ExpressVote ballot card 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.

Return the empty secrecy folder to the elections official and proudly wear your “I voted” sticker!

FAQ