PROVIDENCE RI – Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis is asking Rhode Islanders with friends or family serving outside the state or working overseas to let them know that their ballots for November's election are on the way.
Mollis finished mailing their absentee ballots Sat., Sept. 22. Voters with Internet access do not even have to wait for the mail. They can download their ballot directly from his website. The ballots must be returned to the state Board of Elections by 9 p.m. Nov. 6 in order to be counted.
"By making it easier for overseas voters to get their ballots, we make it more likely that they can make their voice heard," said Mollis. "We hope Rhode Islanders with friends and family overseas will help us make sure they know their ballots are available."
In addition to asking the public to spread the word, Mollis is also working with the R.I. National Guard to let deployed servicemen and women know about the web-based option.
Only voters who are eligible under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) will find their ballots on-line. Mollis introduced the option in September 2010.
Accessing the ballot on-line requires voters to use personal identification information. Once they complete their ballot, voters can return it by fax or mail, just as they have in previous elections.
Rhode Islanders who are serving in the military outside Rhode Island or living overseas can also chose to receive their ballots by fax.
According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, in 2010 Rhode Island led the nation in implementing the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act on behalf of Rhode Island's UOCAVA voters. One hundred percent of Rhode Island's UOCAVA ballots that were returned were counted in the November election, which tied for first nationally with Connecticut and Hawaii.
The Secretary of State's office prepares the ballots for all federal, state and municipal elections held in Rhode Island. In addition, the office maintains the statewide voter registration list, promotes voter registration and turnout and creates guides to running for office and voting.
Secretary of State Mollis is committed to making it easier for Rhode Islanders to vote, making it easier to do business in Rhode Island and making government more open and accessible. For more information about overseas voting, visit sos.ri.gov or call (401) 222-2340.
MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Barnett at 222-4293