Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea has been an advocate of early in-person voting since taking office in 2015, and this month saw her efforts come to fruition. The Rhode Island General Assembly passed an early in-person voting law that will allow voters to cast their ballots at city or town hall up to 20 days before an election. Governor Gina Raimondo signed the bill into law on July 22.
"Early in-person voting is a major step forward for elections in Rhode Island," said Secretary Gorbea. "The more options voters have to safely and securely cast a ballot, the better - especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This measure will help reduce crowding at indoor polling places and will ensure greater access to the ballot box for voters going forward."
Rhode Island voters who wish to vote early in-person should contact their city or town hall or their local board of canvassers. Voters will be required to present photo identification in accordance with Rhode Island's voter ID law. Early in-person voters will fill out a ballot and cast it into a voting machine as they normally would at a polling place.
Rhode Island voters also have the option of applying for a mail ballot or voting at a polling place on Election Day. Voters can request a mail ballot application from Secretary Gorbea's office or their local board of canvassers. Secretary Gorbea has also arranged for printed mail ballot applications to be available throughout Rhode Island at public libraries, public housing authorities, and community action programs.
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