'VOTING RIGHTS: Voter ID and the 2018 Election' Pamphlet
This information is designed to help protect your right to vote under the state's photo voter ID law. Keep this handy, and take it with you to the polls on Election Day. (Information accurate as of July 6, 2018. Subject to change.)
The Party Primary election will be held Wednesday, September 12, 2018.
The General Election will be held Tuesday, November 6, 2018.
QUICK TIPS FOR VOTERS
- Check your voter registration status and locate your polling place by calling your local Board of Canvassers or going to https://vote.sos.ri.gov.
- Bring photo identification to the polls. However, if you are a registered voter and do not have photo identification, you cannot be turned away and must be offered a provisional ballot.
- Ask for help if you need it.
- You do not need ID if you vote by mail ballot (in most cases). However, if you are a first-time registrant and did not provide a driver's license or state ID, or the last four digits of your social security number, you will be asked to provide a copy of a photo ID.
- Rhode Island Secretary of State Elections Division: (401) 222-2340 or https://vote.sos.ri.gov
- State Board of Elections: (401) 222-2345
- ACLU of Rhode Island: (401) 831-7171
DO I HAVE TO SHOW ID?
Rhode Island law requires you to show designated forms of photo identification in order to vote by regular ballot at the polls. However, if you are a registered voter and do not possess photo ID, you can still cast your vote by use of a provisional ballot, which is explained in more detail below.
WHAT ARE THE ACCEPTED FORMS OF PHOTO ID?
Accepted forms of ID, which must include a photograph of the person to whom the document was issued, include a current and valid:
- Rhode Island driver's license;
- Rhode Island voter identification card;
- State or federal ID card;
- U.S. passport;
- U.S. military ID card;
- ID issued by any federally recognized tribal government;
- Student ID card from an educational institution located within the United States
- Government-issued medical card.
WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE ANY ID?
If you believe you are otherwise qualified and registered to vote and do not have proper photo identification, you cannot be denied the right to vote. You have the right to cast a provisional ballot, and should be given one.
If you are not offered a provisional ballot, ask to speak with the person in charge at your polling place. If you are still not given a provisional ballot, contact your local Board of Canvassers, the State Board of Elections, or the Secretary of State.
If you have time and have ID at home or work, it's usually better to get your ID and return to the polls to cast a regular ballot.
For more information on obtaining a free voter ID, visit https://vote.sos.ri.gov/assets/pdfs/voter_id_information.pdf
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REGULAR BALLOT AND A PROVISIONAL BALLOT?
Unlike a regular ballot, a provisional ballot is not fed through the voting machine. Once the polls close, the Board of Canvassers will review the ballot to ensure you are eligible to vote. Usually, the ballot will be counted if the signature you provide (as part of the provisional ballot voting process) matches the one on your voter registration. If you vote via provisional ballot, polling officials are required to give you information explaining how to find out if your vote was counted.
If you experience any difficulty at the polls on Election Day, contact the ACLU of Rhode Island at (401) 831-7171.