Mail Ballot For Statewide Primary — You Must Apply

If you want a mail ballot for the statewide primary, you must complete and submit an application to your local board of canvassers by 4pm, Tuesday, August 18. And yes, there is a downloadable pdf at the Board of Elections’ “Apply for Mail Ballot” page.

Before you can receive your mail ballot you must first be a registered voter.

Please note that the application has to be physically at the local board by 4:00 P.M. on the deadline. Postmarked applications received after the deadline will not be accepted. Local Boards will not be responsible if you fail to deliver a properly completed application by the deadline. For mailing addresses for BOC’s please reference the list of Boards of Canvassers.

Because we have way too many districts, and because so many of our elected officials run as Democrats (in any other state they would be Republicans), many of our statewide contests will be determined in the primary (there being no Republican opponent).

Go here for the Mail Ballot Overview where, under “no specific reason necessary” you will find the accommodation being made for the coronavirus.

If you may not be able to get to the polls on Election Day, you can fill out a mail ballot application and receive a mail ballot.

The “Upcoming Elections” page at the Board of Elections website includes other important info:

Voter registration deadline is August 9, 2020.

John Marion of Common Cause Rhode Island was unhappy with the Board of Elections’ decision to not send out applications as it had for the presidential preference primary. From Eli Sherman’s report on WPRI earlier this month:

“Not sending applications will burden voters, especially the elderly, suppress turnout, and force some Rhode Islanders to choose between their health and their right to vote,” he added. “Likewise, this decision will benefit incumbent politicians.”

Marion called the rationale to not send out applications for the primaries because voting would be lower in some communities “laughable.” He pointed to Cranston, the state’s second-largest city, which has competitive Democratic and Republican primaries for its open mayor’s office. (Republican incumbent Allan Fung is term-limited.)

“Rhode Island is among the most one-party-dominated states in the nation — the primary is the only competitive local election most voters will face,” Marion said.

And there are many unworthy incumbents. We have some exciting new progressive candidates running in this primary. More on them closer to the date.

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