Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis is reminding Rhode Islanders that they have until this Sunday to register to vote in November’s election.
The deadline applies voters who have moved or changed their name since the last time they voted as well as to new voters. State law requires current voters to re-register under their new name or from their new address in order to be eligible to vote again.
Although the deadline falls on a Sunday, North Kingstown Town Hall will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for last-minute registrations. In addition, Mollis will open his Elections Division at 148 West River St., Providence, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mollis is also teaming up with Cardi's Furniture to give Rhode Islanders another last-minute option. His office will set up shop at Cardi's West Warwick store on Rt. 2 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to register and re-register voters.
"I want to thank Nick, Ron and Pete Cardi for opening their doors to us. Together we are making it as convenient as possible for people to make their voices heard on Nov. 6," said Mollis.
"We're happy to help facilitate the process of getting people properly registered so they can take part in one of the most patriotic duties we have, voting. It's easy, free and the Secretary of State's office has always done a great job at having the information and answering questions when we've hosted such events in the past," the Cardi brothers said.
In order to register, you must be at least 18 years old by Nov. 6, a resident of Rhode Island and a U.S. citizen.
Residents who cannot register in person by Sunday can download a voter registration form and mail the original, signed form to the North Kingstown Board of Canvassers as long as it is postmarked by the postal service no later than Oct. 7.
In addition to the presidential election, November's ballot will include races for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives as well as many General Assembly seats and local offices.
Mollis is also reminding voters that they will encounter changes at the polls this year including a new Voter ID requirement, new polling place locations and a new closing time for polls statewide.
Because many cities and towns have moved their polling places due to redistricting, Mollis urges voters to use his website to confirm the location of their polling place ahead of time.
The Nov. 6 election is also the next big test of the state's new Voter ID law. Beginning this year, voters will be 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, state ID card, 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 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.