2012-10-04 / News

Deadline Sunday to register to vote

Jamestown residents have until Sunday, Oct. 7, to register to vote in November’s election. State law requires Rhode Islanders to register at least 30 days before an election in order to be eligible to vote. In addition, state law requires voters who have moved or changed their names since the last time they voted to re-register to vote.

Although the deadline falls on a Sunday, local election officials have made arrangements for residents to register to vote at Town Hall from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis will open his office at 148 West River St. in Providence from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for last-minute registrations.

“We are working with every city and town to ensure that everyone who is interested in registering knows where to go and what to do in order to register before the deadline,” said Mollis.

November’s ballot will include races for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as many General Assembly seats and local elections, including five Town Council seats and three School Committee seats in Jamestown. In addition, there will be two questions that would amend the state constitution to allow an expansion of gaming at Twin River and Newport Grand and five bond issues authorizing the sale of $209 million in bonds for uses including affordable housing, clean water, the environment and higher education.

Because many cities and towns have moved their polling places due to redistricting, Mollis urges voters to use his website at SOS. ri.gov to confirm the location of their polling place ahead of time. A district map and street list is also available on the Board of Canvasser’s webpage on the town site – JamestownRI.net.

The Nov. 6 election is the next big test of the state’s new voter ID law. Beginning this year, voters are being asked to show an ID when they vote at the polls.

Poll workers will accept a wide range of common IDs, including a R.I. driver’s license, a state ID card, a RIPTA bus pass, college ID and employee ID.

Voter ID will be phased in over two election cycles. In 2012 and 2013, voters can also use a variety of non-photo IDs including a Social Security card, bank statement or any government-issued document. Beginning in 2014, only a photo ID will be accepted.

Most importantly, no eligible voter will be denied the right to vote. Voters who do not bring an acceptable ID to the polls can vote using a standard provisional ballot. If the signature they give at their polling place matches the signature on their voter registration, their ballot will be counted.

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