PROVIDENCE, RI – Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea has released a newly designed Voter Information Handbook to help prepare Rhode Island voters for the November 8 General Election. The 2016 edition includes information on the elimination of straight party voting; illustrations of voting procedures; a "voter checklist" to help voters remember their voting choices; and an infographic depicting the levels of government that have oversight of various policy issues. It also shows voters how state ballot questions will appear on the November ballot and explains bond financing in terms familiar to everyday Rhode Islanders.
"We want Rhode Island voters to feel confident heading to the polls. We re-designed the voter handbook and used plain English with clear instructions that enable them to come prepared on Election Day," Secretary Gorbea said. "It's important for Rhode Islanders to remember that the General Election is not just their opportunity to vote for President of the United States; they will also be asked to vote for members of Congress, state and local leaders, as well as on a number of important ballot questions."
Statewide, there are seven questions voters will be asked to approve or reject, including five questions that authorize the state to borrow money for capital projects. The handbook includes short, easy to understand, explanations of each of these questions and of how bond financing typically works.
Locally, there are 27 communities in which you may also be asked to approve or reject municipal ballot questions. While voters in North Providence and Narragansett have only one municipal ballot question, voters in Westerly will be asked to vote on 35 municipal questions. Secretary Gorbea encourages voters view their sample ballot prior to Election Day by going to our online Voter Information Center (vote.ri.gov). You can also call your local board of canvassers for more information about local ballot questions.
State law requires the Secretary of State's office to publish and mail a referenda guide to every residential household in Rhode Island prior to every general election. The handbook is available in English and Spanish online at sos.ri.gov and will soon be mailed to every residential household in Rhode Island.
The voter registration deadline to vote in the November General election is Sunday, October 9. Rhode Islanders can now register to vote online at vote.ri.gov or visit their local board of canvassers to submit a paper form. For more information about this year's elections, visit sos.ri.gov/elections or call (401) 222-2340.