Like any citizen medical student, you might be wondering how to register to vote in your new state of residence. Let us break down the 5 W’s of registering to vote in RI.
Who: RI Resident… Including RI medical students!
What (do I need to register?): Not a whole lot. You don't need to move anything over (like drivers license or car registration to RI). Just submit your voter registration form on time (30 days prior to election time) and bring your photo ID (i.e. driver’s license of any state, US passport, Brown ID card, gym card… basically any old card with your name and face on it) with you to your polling place. You may also choose to send a copy of your eligible photo ID with your voter registration form. You also have the option of obtaining a special Voter ID that can be used at any RI polling place.
Come election day, if you forget your ID, you can still vote using a standard provisional ballot; this ballot will be counted if the signature given at the polling place matches the signature on your submitted voter registration form.
When: At least 30 days prior to the primary or election in which you want to vote OR after you change your name or address.
How (do I know that I am registered?): Your local board of canvassers will send you an acknowledgement notice within 3 weeks (you will also be notified if your registration does not meet requirements). Still haven’t heard anything? Enter your information at the RI Voter Information Center to view the status of your voter registration, party affiliation, your state and federal elected officials, and dates/addresses of all upcoming elections.
Why? Because you are an excellently engaged medical student wanting to make a difference and you understand that the well-being of our patients is heavily influence by the decisions made by our government!
Shayla Durfey, a medical student at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and co-President of Citizen Physicians