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Rhode Island Electoral Resource

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Did You Know?

DID YOU KNOW THE FOLLOWING ABOUT Rhode Island

Banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his radical views, Roger Williams purchased land from the Narragansett Indians and founded the first permanent white settlement in Providence in 1636. His firm belief in religious freedom, tolerance and the separation between church and state governed the colony of Rhode Island and inspired the future founders of the United States.

Benedict Arnold, the first governor appointed under the Rhode Island Royal Charter in 1663, was the great grandfather of the notorious traitor of the Revolutionary War—also named Benedict Arnold.

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On May 4, 1776, Rhode Island became the first colony to renounce allegiance to King George III of England. In 1908, the General Assembly established May 4th as “Rhode Island Independence Day.”

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Although slaves were an important part of the colony’s economy, Rhode Island passed the first gradual emancipation act after Quakers waged a campaign to abolish slavery. Children who were born to slaves after March 1, 1784, were to become free after a period of “apprenticeship,” but existing slaves were not granted freedom as part of the legislation.

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On September 12, 1953, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier were married in St. Mary’s Church of Newport—Rhode Island’s oldest Roman Catholic parish, which had been established on April 8, 1828.

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Rhode Island is the only state that still celebrates the end of World War II on Victory Day (which is also known as VJ Day). The official state holiday is observed each year on the second Monday of August.

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Preferring the Articles of Confederation, Rhode Island refused to participate in creating the U.S. Constitution, and was the last of the original 13 states to ratify it.

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State of Rhode Island Quick Facts
  • Current Population:1,056,298
  • Voter Registration Deadline: 30 days before an election
  • Election Day Voter Registration: NO
  • Early Voting: No
  • Absentee Voting: Yes
  • Voter ID: Yes
  • Electoral Colleges: 4
  • Congressional Districts: 2
  • Date of Statehood: May 29, 1790
  • Size: 1,545 square miles
  • Nickname(s): Ocean State; Little Rhody; Plantation State; Smallest State; Land of Roger Williams; Southern Gateway of New England
  • Tree: Red Maple
  • Flower: Violet
  • Bird: Rhode Island Red
Registered Voters

total: 762,843

Active : 689,625

  • Democrat : 278,316
  • Republivan : 84,864
  • Moderate : 2222
  • Unaffiliated : 324,223

Inactive: 56033

  • Democrat : 20,719
  • Republican : 5,613
  • Moderate : 243
  • Unaffiliated : 29,458

Active with NCOA Change: 17,185

  • Demorat : 8,109
  • Republican : 1,596
  • Moderate : 41
  • Unaffiliated : 7,439

Voting And Elections

Am I eligible To Vote in Rhode Island?

Most States require citizens to be registered in order to vote. Make sure you understand the voter registration requirements in the state of Rhode Island.

  • >>Check if you are eligible to vote

  • Can I Register At The Polls On Election Day?

    NO: Rhode Island does not provide Same Day Voter Registration. You must register to vote by the voter registration deadline in order to vote in an election. If you miss the voter registration deadline for an election you should contact your local election office.

    If My Address Has Changed Do I Need To Re-register To Vote?

    When you register to vote, your voter registration is linked to your residential address. When registered voters move, they are supposed to update their registration records with election officials before voting

  • >>Check if you need to re-register to vote

  • How Do I Register To Vote in Rhode Island?
    Voter registration is a means of determining the candidates and issues for which each voter is eligible to vote. Most states require voters to register to vote a certain number of days before Election Day. Voter Registration also protects the integrity of the ballot box by preventing voting in multiple jurisdictions.

    To register to vote inthe state of Rhode Island, voters have the following options :

    By Mail

    you can complete either registration form below and submit it to your local board of canvassers.

    Motor Voter

    You can do it at the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles

    Can I Take Time Off For Voting?

    Time off to vote is subject to the employer. Rhode Island state law does not require employers to grant time off to vote for employees.

    Rhode Island State Government

    Rhode Island Constitution

    PREAMBLE

    WE, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of government

    All free governments are instituted for the protection, safety, and happiness of the people. All the laws, therefore, should be made for the good of the whole; and the burdens of the state ought to be fairly distributed among its citizens.

    The Executive Branch
    View of the Rhode Island State House from the South side.

    Executive Power

    The chief executive power of this state shall be vested in a governor, who, together with a lieutenant governor, shall be elected by the people.

    Rhode Island Executive Offices
  • The Governor (Elected)
  • The Lieutenant Governor (Elected)
  • The Attorney General (Elected)
  • The Secretary Of State (Elected)
  • The Treasurer (Elected)
  • Legislative Branch
    View of the Rhode Island State House from the South side.

    Legislative Power

    This Constitution shall be the supreme law of the state, and any law inconsistent therewith shall be void. The general assembly shall pass all laws necessary to carry this Constitution into effect.

    The legislative power, under this Constitution, shall be vested in two houses, the one to be called the senate, the other the house of representatives; and both together the general assembly. The concurrence of the two houses shall be necessary to the enactment of laws.

    75 members make-up the lower chamber of the Rhode Island General Assembly and meets at the State Capitol in Providence.

    It is composed of 38 senators, each of whom is elected to a two-year term.

    Rhode Island Legislative Chambers
  • The State House (Elected)
  • The State Senate (Elected)
  • Judicial Branch
    Licht judicial complex

    Judicial Power

    The judicial power of this state shall be vested in one supreme court, and in such inferior courts as the general assembly may, from time to time, ordain and establish.

    Rhode Island Current Partisan Composition
    State Representatives(75)
    (61)(12)(1)(1)
    State Senators(38)
    (32)(5)(1)
    US Representatives(2)
    (2)
    US Senators(2)
    (2)
    State Executives
    Governor
    Lt. Governor
    Att. General
    Sec. Of State

    State Officials Terms, Authority,Salary, and Qualitications

    Rhode Island Executive Offices
    The Governor
    Authority

    The governor shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed

    Qualifications

    a qualified elector of Rhode island, not serving a sentence for, on probation for, or on parole for any felony, not bound by any other oath of Office, including holding any other state office or holding a federal office

    Election

    Rhode Island elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years.

    Term of Office

    The Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality

    Limit on Tenure

    Rhode Island governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait one term before being eligible to run again.

    Salary

    $132,710

    Qualification age

    The Lieutenant Governor
    Authority

    the lieutenant governor assumes the duties of the governor during any vacancies in the governor's Office or in the event of the incapacitation of the governor

    Qualifications

    a qualified elector of Rhode island, not serving a sentence for, on probation for, or on parole for any felony, not bound by any other oath of Office, including holding any other state office or holding a federal office

    Election

    Rhode Island elects lieutenant governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years.

    Term of Office

    The lieutenant governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality

    Limit on Tenure

    no person may hold the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general or treasurer for more than two consecutive four-year terms

    Salary

    $117,637

    Qualification age

    The Attorney General
    Authority

    The duties and powers of the secretary, attorney general and general treasurer shall be the same under this Constitution as are now established, or as from time to time may be prescribed by law.

    Qualifications

    if you are a registered voter who is 18 years of age or older, you may run for any political office in Rhode Island other than senator in Congress.

    Election

    the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and treasurer are to be elected every 4 years during the November general election

    Term of Office

    are to be elected every 4 years

    Limit on Tenure

    no person may hold the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general or treasurer for more than two consecutive four-year terms

    Salary

    $124,991

    Qualification age

    at least 18 years old

    The Secretary Of State
    Authority

    The duties and powers of the secretary, attorney general and general treasurer shall be the same under this Constitution as are now established, or as from time to time may be prescribed by law.

    Qualifications

    "if you are a registered voter who is 18 years of age or older, you may run for any political office in Rhode Island other than senator in Congress."

    Election

    the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and treasurer are to be elected every 4 years during the November general election

    Term of Office

    are to be elected every 4 years

    Limit on Tenure

    no person may hold the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general or treasurer for more than two consecutive four-year terms

    Salary

    $117,637

    Qualification age

    at least 18 years old

    The Treasurer
    Authority

    The duties and powers of the secretary, attorney general and general treasurer shall be the same under this Constitution as are now established, or as from time to time may be prescribed by law.

    Qualifications

    "if you are a registered voter who is 18 years of age or older, you may run for any political office in Rhode Island other than senator in Congress."

    Election

    no person may hold the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and treasurer are to be elected every four years during the November general election

    Term of Office

    be elected every four years

    Limit on Tenure

    no person may hold the office of governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, or treasurer for more than two consecutive four-year terms.

    Salary

    $117,637

    Qualification age

    at least 18 years old

    Rhode Island State Congress
    The State House
    Authority

    Qualifications

    No person shall hold any civil office unless that person be a qualified elector for such office.

    Election

    Each of whom is elected to a two-year term.

    Term of Office

    Elected to a two-year term.

    Limit on Tenure

    There is no limit to the number of terms that a house representatives may serve.

    Salary

    $15,414/year

    Qualification age

    The State Senate
    Authority

    The Senate can confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments to executive departments, commissions, boards, or justices to the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

    Qualifications

    No person shall hold any civil office unless that person be a qualified elector for such office.

    Election

    It is composed of 38 senators, each of whom is elected to a two-year term.

    Term of Office

    Elected to a two-year term.

    Limit on Tenure

    There is no limit to the number of terms that a Senator may serve.

    Salary

    $15,414/year

    Qualification age

    Rhode Island State Courts
    The Supreme Court
    Authority

    The Rhode Island Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction over legal and constitutional questions. Additionally, the court must regulate admission to the state bar and determine disciplinary issues as well.

    Qualifications

    Election

    The appointed justice must then be approved by both the state senate and house of representatives.

    Term of Office

    The justices of the Rhode Island Supreme Court hold office for life.

    Limit on Tenure

    Chief salary

    $182,000

    Associates salary

    $166,000

    Qualification age

    The Superior Court
    Authority

    The superior courts have jurisdiction over felonies, civil matters where the amount in controversy exceeds $10,000, and in matters of equity.

    Qualifications

    Election

    Term of Office

    Limit on Tenure

    Salary

    Qualification age

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    Rhode Island Congressional Districts
    Rhode Island US Districts