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Vote by Mail
Who can vote by mail?
Rhode Island Voters
Rhode Island voters who are unable to make it to the polls on Election Day can vote by mail. Follow the steps below to apply for and vote with a mail ballot.
Rhode Island military/overseas voters use a special process to receive and return their mail ballot. The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) provides step-by-step guidance on how a military/overseas voter can apply for and receive their mail ballot.
Out of State Voters
Registered to vote in another state, but living temporarily in Rhode Island? You can still vote in your state's election with a mail ballot:
Blind, Visually Impaired or Disabled Voters
Voters who are blind, visually impaired, or disabled may apply for a Braille or tactile mail ballot. To apply for a Braille or tactile mail ballot, you must be a registered voter in Rhode Island, submit a request for a Braille or tactile ballot in addition to submitting an application for a mail ballot for each primary and/or general election.
The application must be filed with your local board of canvassers at least 45 days before the date of the election for which you are requesting a mail ballot. The request will be valid for mail ballots for all elections held during the calendar year in which the request was received and in which you are eligible to participate.
You can use the request form prepared by the RI Department of State, or you may apply in writing without using the form by including the following information:
- Name, address, and daytime phone number
- Indication of whether this request is for the entire calendar year or only for the next election
- Your party affiliation (if you are requesting a ballot for a primary)
- Which special ballot format you desire: Braille Grade I, Braille Grade II, or tactile
- Your signature
Permanently Disabled or Incapacitated Voters
Voters who are permanently disabled or incapacitated can submit a Certification of Permanently Disabled or Incapacitated Voter for Automatic Application For Mail Ballot form to their local board of canvassers. This allows permanently disabled voters to be designated to receive a mail ballot application for each election in their jurisdiction.
Steps to Vote by Mail in Rhode Island
Receive Your Mail Ballot
If you do not receive your mail ballot, call the Elections Division at 401-222-2340.
Mark Your Mail Ballot
Completely fill the oval next to your choice(s) using the provided black pen.
To vote for a candidate whose name is not on the ballot:
Fill in the oval to the left of “Write-in” and print the name clearly in the box.
If you make a mistake while marking your ballot do not cross out, instead call the Elections Division at 401-222-2340 or TDD 711 to make arrangements to receive a replacement ballot.
Complete Oath Envelope
Insert voted ballot into the oath (smaller) envelope and seal it.
Print your name and sign your oath envelope.
Two individuals OR a notary must witness your signature.
Mail Or Hand-Deliver Your Ballot
Place completed oath envelope into the larger envelope addressed to the:
State of Rhode Island Board of Elections
50 Branch Avenue
Providence, RI 02904
The Board of Elections must receive your mail ballot by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
What if I need help completing my mail ballot?
Contact your local board of canvassers if you need help with voting and/or witnessing your ballot.
Anyone applying for a mail ballot from a nursing home, convalescent home, or similar institution will have their ballot delivered by a bipartisan pair of supervisors appointed by the State Board of Elections. The bipartisan pair will provide assistance as needed and serve as witnesses for the voter.
Any voter who is blind or visually impaired is eligible to request a Braille or tactile mail ballot. A voter must request a Braille or tactile mail ballot from their local board of canvassers at least 45 days before an election.
Can I check to see if my mail ballot was received?
You can check to see if your mail ballot was received by the State Board of Elections by viewing your personal information on the Voter Information Center.
What if I miss the mail ballot application deadline and I cannot vote in person?
If circumstances arise after the regular mail ballot application deadline, you can apply for an emergency mail ballot at your local board of canvassers until 4 p.m. on the day before the election. The State Board of Elections must receive your voted emergency mail ballot by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
What if I do not receive my mail ballot or if I make a mistake or the ballot is damaged?
Request a replacement mail ballot by contacting our office at (401) 222-2340 or via email [email protected]
Do I have to reapply for a mail ballot each time I want to vote by mail?
Voters must apply for a mail ballot for every primary or general election they wish to vote in. Voters who are permanently disabled or incapacitated can submit a Certification of Permanently Disabled or Incapacitated Voter for Automatic Application for Mail Ballot form to their local board of canvassers. This allows permanently disabled voters to be designated to receive a mail ballot application for each election in their jurisdiction.