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Military and overseas voters

Military/Overseas voters in Rhode Island are defined as:

  • An elector who will be temporarily absent from the State because of employment or service intimately connected with military operations or who is a spouse or legal dependent residing with that person
  • United States citizen that will be outside of the United States

Military/Overseas voters use a special process to receive and return their ballot. The Federal Voting Assistance Program provides step-by-step guidance on how a military/overseas voter can apply for and receive their ballot.

Steps to voting by military/overseas mail ballot

Step One: Military/Overseas voters should complete and submit a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). The FPCA is valid for one calendar year, and entitles the military/overseas voter to receive a ballot for every election held that year. FPCAs can either be mailed to the voter’s local board of canvassers in Rhode Island or faxed to (401) 222.1444.

Providing your contact information on your FPCA allows election officials to contact you and let you know when your voting materials are available.

Step Two: Once you receive your ballot, you should start by reviewing it and all enclosures. Follow all the instructions and complete your ballot.

Voters can also download their ballot by viewing their personal voter registration information from Rhode Island’s Voter Information Center.

Step Three: After completing your ballot, insert it into the oath (smaller) envelope and seal it. Fill in the information on the outside of the oath envelope as required. Then sign the envelope. Your signature does not need to be witnessed or notarized.

Step Four: Place the sealed oath envelope containing your ballot into the larger envelope that is addressed to the State Board of Elections. You can mail or hand-deliver your ballot, but the State Board of Elections must receive your mail ballot by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Military/Overseas voters can also download their mail ballot materials via the Voter Information Center. They are encouraged to complete the downloaded materials and return them to the State Board of Elections. If the voter’s official ballot is received in time it will be counted. If it is not received in time the State Board of Elections will count the downloaded ballot from the Voter Information Center.

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Frequently asked questions

Lost, damaged, or mismarked mail ballots

If you need a replacement mail ballot please contact the Department of State at (401) 222.2340 or as soon as possible.

Track the status of your mail ballot

You can check to see if your mail ballot was received by the State Board of Elections by viewing your personal information in the Voter Information Center.

Reassignment/Moved to a new location

If the address listed on your application changes due to reassignment or if you return to the US, you will need to update your voter registration information by contacting your local board of canvassers. If you prefer, you may also submit an updated FPCA.

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