PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island’s presidential primary election will be held on Tuesday but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state is urging voters to cast their ballots by mail instead of in person.
Having received tens of thousands of mail ballot applications as a result, the R.I. Board of Elections acknowledged a delay in getting them out to voters statewide.
After concerns were raised about voters potentially not having enough time to return their ballots by mail, the Board of Elections voted 7-0 during a conference call last week to give people the option to drop them off on primary day.
Designated and secure drop boxes will be placed at each city and town hall across the state. Ballots must be dropped off by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2, to be counted.
“The confidence could be lost if people’s votes aren’t counted,” board member Jennifer Johnson said. “Challenges arise, certainly no one’s making any excuses, but I do think this is a time that we knew we would learn from.”
“We knew there would be challenges and it can’t be discounted that this is a crisis that we’re in the middle of, and states are struggling with this as well,” she continued.
Ballots can still be mailed in using the return envelope provided but they would need to be received by 8 p.m. Tuesday to be counted.
They can also be dropped off at the Board of Elections office located at 2000 Plainfield Pike in Cranston.
In-person voting will still be offered on Tuesday for those who missed the mail ballot deadline but locations will be limited. Visit the Secretary of State’s website to find your polling place.