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Register to Vote
Before you can vote, elections officials need to know a few things about you, such as your eligibility to vote and where you live. Registering in advance shows poll workers on Election Day that you are a qualified voter and ensures that you get to vote in all the elections and on ballot questions that affect you.
You may be eligible to register to vote if you are:
- A citizen of the United States
- A resident of the Rhode Island city or town where you wish to vote
- At least 16 years of age (You must be at least 18 years of age to vote.)
You may not register to vote if you are:
- Legally judged mentally incompetent by a court of law
- A convicted felon still in prison. Once out of prison, you can restore your right to vote by either notifying your local board of canvassers in writing or by submitting a new voter registration form.
Choose how to register to vote:
Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea worked to pass Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) in 2017. This means that, if eligible, you will automatically be registered to vote when you interact with the DMV.
If you do not interact with the DMV, you will still need to register to vote using the options below.
- Register Online
- Register by Mail
- Register in Person
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.
Address Confidentiality Program
If you or a member of your household has a court-ordered restraining order against another person to prevent domestic violence, you may register to vote without making your residence address part of a public record. Contact the Department of State’s Elections Division at 401-222-2340 for an application to join the Address Confidentiality Program and for more information.
Rhode Island Restoration of Voting Rights Act
Under the Rhode Island Restoration of Voting Rights Act of 2006 (RIRVRA), the Secretary of State must ensure that persons who were not eligible to vote due to incarceration, will have their eligibility restored upon release from prison.
A convicted felon who was registered to vote in Rhode Island, will have their voter registration restored when released from prison, if they plan to stay in Rhode Island. The Department of Corrections will help those who were not registered, register to vote upon their release.
When you register to vote, your local board of canvassers will send you an acknowledgement notice at the address associated with your new voter registration. You will also be notified by mail if your registration does not meet the requirements for any reason.
Be sure to contact your local board of canvassers if you do not receive the acknowledgement notice within three weeks of registering to vote. If the Post Office cannot deliver the notice to the address on your voter registration form, your status as a voter will be changed to “inactive” and you may have to provide additional information when voting.