5 Tips to Protect Your Vote

Your vote is vital to preserving our constitutional democracy. With all of the controversies about the security of mail and absentee ballot voting, this election will be like no other.

It should be the goal of election officials to make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat. However, without obtaining legislative authority, and in trying to make it so easy to vote, state election officials have compromised the integrity of Rhode Island’s voting process, making it more likely that you could be cheated.

If you want to ensure that your vote is protected and that you are not cheated … and that your vote actually gets counted … our Center urges you to VOTE IN PERSON! 

Personally insert your own ballot – and see your ballot go – into the tabulating machine yourself at your designated voting locations. 

Every time a 3rd-party handles your mail ballot, something could go wrong. Whether by mishap, via malfeasance, or by an unscrupulous worker or partisan hack; as unlikely as it might seem – your constitutionally guaranteed right to vote could be cheated. Think of what could happen … once your ballot is out of your hands; it could be: 

  • Delayed or lost in the mail or not properly retrieved from a special “ballot drop box” 
  • Purposefully put aside or destroyed by an unscrupulous worker or volunteer
  • Accidentally lost 
  • Rejected for a perceived signature-comparison mis-match 
  • You could incorrectly fill out the ballot or envelope, triggering a rejection

Additionally, someone else might complete and send in your designated absentee ballot application – or your actual mail ballot – if you don’t receive it or guard its safety. 


1. Register to vote by October 3 … your family and friends, too! 

Go  to: https://vote.sos.ri.gov/Home/RegistertoVote  

You can double-check your registration status, here: https://vote.sos.ri.gov/Home/UpdateVoterRecord  

2. DO NOT DISCARD & HOLD ON to the absentee-ballot application that was delivered to your home in mid-September.

  • Bring your absentee ballot application with you when you’re voting in person, just in case they try to tell you that you already voted by absentee ballot. Providing proof that you did not submit an absentee ballot application – then casting a provisional ballot – could save your vote!

3. Vote early IN-PERSON at your locality’s board of canvassers, beginning October 14, showing your ID and inserting your ballot, yourself, into the tabulating machine.

4. Vote on election day IN-PERSON on November 3, at your designated polling precinct, showing ID and inserting your ballot, yourself, into the tabulating machine.

5. If you do choose to complete the absentee ballot application to request a vote-by-mail ballot … you are advised to complete the mail ballot process. While there is a provisional ballot process whereby you could instead, in the end, opt to vote in person … it is a fairly complicated process to prove to election officials that you had not voted both by mail and in person.

NEVER hand over your completed mail-ballot to any 3rd party person! Either post it in the US Postal Service mail or place it in an authorized drop-box.

If you did submit a ballot by mail, you can track the status of your mail ballot here: https://vote.sos.ri.gov/Home/UpdateVoterRecord

NOTE: If the State’s website is not able to verify receipt of your mail ballot, you should go IN-PERSON to your polling place (on election day or during the early voting process) and ask to submit a provisional ballot.

For more information on official state procedures, visit:  https://vote.sos.ri.gov/

Our Center encourages you vote and to follow an IN PERSON process that best guarantees that your vote will actually be counted. Remember, your vote is crucial to preserving our democracy. 

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