FAQs September 13, 2022 Primary

Portsmouth Voters—Frequently Asked Questions

Voter Registrations

How do I find out if I am registered to vote in Portsmouth?

Contact the Canvassing office or check online at the RI Department of State Voter Information Center at vote.ri.gov.

My voter information is incorrect. How can I make changes?

You may change your voter information by completing a RI Voter Registration form and submitting it to the Canvassing office at 2200 East Main Road or online at vote.ri.gov.

I am not registered to vote but want to participate in this election. What can I do?

The last day to register to vote for the primaries is Sunday, August 14.

The last day to register to vote for the general election is Sunday, October 9.

Canvassing staff will be in the office from 8:30AM to 4:00PM on these dates to answer questions and receive RI Voter Registration forms.

You may also register or make changes to existing records online at vote.ri.gov.


What is it and why did I get one?

The 2022 Redistricting Legislation passed by the RI General Assembly in February 2022 redrew the district lines in Portsmouth. In accordance with redistricting state law, all Portsmouth voters have been sent postcards identifying their current voter information, new district numbers, and precinct locations. Maps of the new districts are posted at Town Hall, on the Portsmouth website (www.portsmouthri.gov), at the Portsmouth Free Public Library, and at the Senior Center.

What do I do with a postcard for someone who does not live at this address?

Do not accept the card. Return it to the post office as “undeliverable”. We cannot remove any voter from our rolls unless they meet one of the following criteria:

1. Voter requests removal in writing (original signature). Removal forms are available online.

2. Notification received from another Canvassing office that voter is now registered in another community/state.

3. Inactive voter has not voted in two federal elections. Voter is made Inactive when official mail is returned as undeliverable.

Mail Ballots

Will I receive a mail ballot application in the mail?

No. Only voters who have requested to be on our Permanent Mail Ballot list will receive applications in the mail. You may request to be on this list by contacting the Canvassing Authority and completing a form.

Mail ballot applications are available at the Canvassing office and online at vote.ri.gov. You may call or email the Canvassing office requesting an application.

I applied for a mail ballot. Can I vote in-person?

No. Voters who applied for a mail ballot cannot vote early in-person at the Town Hall and are only be eligible to cast a PROVISIONAL BALLOT at the polls on ELECTION DAY. The Board of Canvassers must receive confirmation that the ballot mailed to voter was not received by the State Board of Elections before the PROVISIONAL BALLOT can be counted.

I made a mistake on my mail ballot. Or I applied for a mail ballot but haven’t received it yet. What can I do?

Contact the Board of Canvassers (BOC) to request a replacement ballot. Confirm with the BOC that the ballot was sent to the correct address and allow at least 7-10 business days for USPS to deliver your ballot before requesting a replacement.

Please remember: General election ballots cannot be printed until the primary election results have been certified. The RI Department of State will begin mailing general election ballots in October.

I received my mail ballot but find the instructions confusing. Why do I need two envelopes?

Once completed, your voted ballot is placed in an “oath” envelope that you sign, attesting to be the person who cast that ballot. Contact information is needed in the event there is a problem that needs to be corrected. Optional personal identification can be provided to assist the Board of Elections in the certification process, confirming that the ballot was cast by the voter identified.

The oath envelope is then placed in an outer mailing envelope addressed to the Board of Elections. Even if you are placing your voted ballot in a BALLOT DROP BOX, the outer envelope protects your information.

What is on the ballot?

Each precinct has a unique ballot based upon the RI General Assembly House District lines. In primary elections, each precinct will have a Democrat and Republican ballot. Voters are eligible to cast only one ballot based upon their voter registration information:

• Registered Democrats are eligible to receive the Democrat ballot

• Registered Republicans are eligible to receive the receive Republican ballot

• Registered Unaffiliated voters must request either ballot. Voter becomes a member of that party upon making request.

Changes to party affiliations must be received 29 days prior to the election: Statewide Primary Election—August 15

Sample ballots are available on the RI Department of State Voter Information Center website at vote.ri.gov and will be posted at the Canvassing office and at the polls on Election Day.

Where is the BALLOT DROP BOX?

The BALLOT DROP BOX for Portsmouth is located outside the south entrance to Town Hall. It is available 24-7 until 8PM on Election Day.

What happens to my ballot after I put it in the DROP BOX?

Ballots are gathered several time a day by Canvassing staff and secured in locked ballot cases. The State Board of Elections retrieves these cases and transports the ballots to their offices in Cranston where they are scanned as received, certified, and tabulated.

Voters can track their mail ballot at vote.ri.gov. The deadline to deposit a mail ballot in the DROP BOX is 8PM on Election Day.

I want to vote in person.

How can I vote in person before Election Day?

Early In-Person & Emergency Mail Ballot Voting at Town Hall—Council Chambers

Statewide Primaries: Wednesday, August 24 through, Monday, September 12 (4PM)

General Election: Wednesday, October 19 through, Monday, November 7 (4PM)

Times: during Town Hall business hours: M – W, 8:30AM to 4:30PM; Th, 8:30AM to 6:30PM; Fr, 8:30AM to 2:30PM

Voters are able to do the following:

1. Early In-Person voting at Town Hall

a. Ballot is voted and recorded in the DS-200 optical scanner—Photo ID Required

b. Voters who have applied for a mail ballot have the option of voting a PROVISIONAL BALLOT at the POLLS on ELECTION DAY only.

c. Replacement mail ballots can be issued by the Board of Canvassers during this time.

2. Complete Emergency Mail Ballot Application (available online and at Canvassing office)

a. Allows voter to pick up a mail ballot at Town Hall

b. Allows voter to designate a representative to pick up ballot at Town Hall (courier must show ID)

3. Military and Overseas voters complete an FPCA application (https://www.fvap.gov/)

Ballots can be deposited in BALLOT DROP BOX at the south entrance to Town Hall.

Where do I go to vote on Election Day?

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Portsmouth Multipurpose Senior Center and Melville School are no longer used as voting precincts. NO VOTING will occur at these locations on Election Day.

The precincts below reflect the 2022 Redistricting Legislation passed by the RI General Assembly in February 2022. Voters have been sent postcards identifying their new district and precinct locations. If you do not know your precinct, go to vote.ri.gov to view your voter records and obtain a sample ballot.

All Portsmouth precincts will be open on Election Day 7AM to 8PM.

2701 Hope Brown Center at Farnham Farm 113 Mt Pleasant Ave., Prudence Island

2702 CFP Arts, Wellness & Community Center 933 Anthony Road

2703 Portsmouth High School Field House NEW 120 Education Lane

2704 Portsmouth Friends Church NEW 11 Middle Road

2705 Portsmouth Town Council Chambers 2200 East Main Road

2706 St. Barnabas Parish Hall 1697 East Main Road

2707 Portsmouth Middle School Gymnasium 125 Jepson Lane

2708 Portsmouth Town Hall-- Limited Ballot 2200 East Main Road

 Contact the Portsmouth Canvassing Authority at 401-683-3157 with any additional questions.