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Rhode Island Votes: A Lively Look at Election History


This historic view of voting in Rhode Island features an array of original manuscripts and memorabilia chronicling both past elections as well as turning points in the history of voting rights.

The exhibit includes documents relating to the Dorr Rebellion, the Women Suffrage movement, examples of early voting machines and ballots, election certifications, 19th century party affiliation voting proxies, campaign buttons, voter guides and photographs.

See the full exhibit for yourself at the State Archives, 337 Westminster St., Providence, through January 28. Free parking is available at the In-Town Parking lot across Snow Street from the State Archives. We are open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Image of California Governor Ronald Reagan and Rhode Island Governor John H. Chafee, Lt. Governor Joseph H. O’Donnell and Attorney General Herbert F. DeSimone, c. 1968

The Providence Journal
Providence, Rhode Island, Wednesday, November 9, 1960

[Headline] Kennedy Elected, R.I. Plurality 112,336; Pell Wins by 153,929, Notte by 54,557; Fogarty, St. Germain Congress Victors

[Article Title] Sweep by Kennedy Is…

Women voters would have used this machine to cast their first ballots. First used in the election of 1900, mechanical defects made voting returns inaccurate, and their use was subsequently banned in March of 1901. There was a repeal of this ban in…

Images of the four page Act of the Rhode Island General Assembly which granted women the right to vote in Presidential and Vice Presidential elections.See also:Report of the Special Committee on Woman Suffrage, Etc. Made to the General Assembly at…

Image of a Rhode Island Equal Suffrage Association membership ticket.See also:Report of the Special Committee on Woman Suffrage, Etc. Made to the General Assembly at its January Session A.D., 1874