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12 Responds: What if I have to quarantine last-minute and can’t vote in person on Election Day?

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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Election Day is fast approaching and Rhode Islanders are either preparing to or have already voted in-person or by mail.

But what happens if you planned to vote in person and unexpectedly have to quarantine for two weeks?

A viewer recently wrote into 12 Responds asking: “What, if any, options are available to submit and assure counting of his/her ballot?”

The Secretary of State’s office said anyone who expected to vote in person on Election Day and either tested positive for COVID-19 or was ordered to quarantine last minute can request an emergency mail ballot from their local Board of Canvassers.

Emergency mail ballots can only be requested within 20 days of the election, according to the BOE’s website. Any voter who requests an emergency ballot can authorize another person to pick it up for them and drop it back off by 8 p.m. the night of the election.

For those voting by mail, the BOE launched a new online tool that lets residents track the status of their ballot.

With six days to go before Election Day, the Secretary of State’s office reports that more than 238,000 Rhode Islanders have already cast their ballots, which is well over 25% of all registered voters in the state.

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