PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With many Rhode Island and Massachusetts voters planning to vote by mail in next month’s primary, and a drumbeat of headlines about slowdowns in Postal Service delivery, you may be wondering about the status of your mail ballot.
Luckily, there’s an app for that — or at least a website.
In Massachusetts, which goes first with its primary on Sept. 1, Secretary of State Bill Galvin’s website includes a tracking page where you can look up the status of your mail ballot. The information is updated every other hour with data from local election officials.
In light of the issues at the post office, Galvin last week encouraged Massachusetts voters to hand-deliver their ballots at designated municipal dropboxes rather than put them in a mailbox. Under current law, a ballot must be received by the local elections office by 8 p.m. on Sept. 1 to be counted, though 4th Congressional District candidate Becky Grossman has sued to extend that time.
In Rhode Island, which will hold its lower-profile primary a week later on Sept. 8, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea’s website also features a tracking page to see the current status of your mail ballot.
Unlike Massachusetts, Rhode Island has no federal primaries to drive up voter turnout, though there are a number of competitive General Assembly primaries. Three communities — Barrington, Lincoln and Warren — have no primary election at all on Sept. 8 because there are no contested races there, and eight other municipalities have no primary in some individual precincts.
Ted Nesi (email@example.com) is WPRI 12’s politics and business editor and a Target 12 investigative reporter. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook