The Rhode Island Primary: Here’s what you need to know

Thu, 09/03/2020 - 6:15pm
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The Rhode Island Democrat and Republican Party Primary will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at the Block Island School gymnasium between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

New Shoreham registered voters need to know a few things, said Deputy Town Clerk Millie McGinnes.

Just as it was done during the Financial Town Meeting in late July, social distancing protocols will be in place. Voters are required to bring a photo ID.

According to Voter ID Law RIGL 17-19- 24.2, acceptable photo IDs include: a document showing a photograph of the person to whom the document was issued; R.I. driver’s license; R.I. voter identification card; U.S. Passport; ID card issued by a U.S. education system; U.S. military ID card; ID card issued by Rhode Island or the U.S. government; government issued medical card; birth certificate; Social Security card; government issued medical card.

If a voter does not have a photo ID of any kind, there are still ways to cast a provisional ballot, said McGinnes. Some paperwork will have to be filled out at the polls, said McGinnes, and signatures will be verified.

For those voters that have requested a mail-in ballot, that ballot has to be delivered to the designated drop box at Town Hall no later than 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8 when the polls close.

If a voter is not able to get to Town Hall to drop off their mail-in ballot, the registered voter can designate an individual to pick up the ballot and drop it off at Town Hall. McGinnes noted two requirements for this way of voting: the registered voter needs to fill out the ballot and the person dropping the ballot off at Town Hall needs to be pre-identified to the staff at the Clerk’s office at Town Hall.

Anyone who can not get to the gym on Tuesday can cast an emergency ballot at Town Hall between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on the day of the primary itself, Sept. 8, because Town Hall will be closed on Monday, Sept. 7 due to the Labor Day holiday.

McGinnes, however, encouraged voters to go to the school gym to cast their votes because staffing at Town Hall will be minimal on Primary day.