Rhode Island Primary Rules

At the time you register, you may choose to be a member of any certified political party (Democrat, Republican, Green...) or to be unaffiliated (not a member of any party). In a general election, you may vote for candidates of any party that you wish.

However, in a primary election, you must choose the ballot of the party with which you are affiliated. Voters unaffiliated in any party may choose the primary ballot of any party. By voting on the ballot of a party, you become a member of that party. Right after voting, you may choose to become unaffiliated or a member of another party. This is done by signing a paper (affidavit) available at the polls after you have voted. Ask a poll worker for the affidavit, fill it out, sign it, hand it in, and get your receipt.

If you walk out of the polling place without signing this paper, you remain a member of the party for which you voted. Party affiliations may be changed with your local Board of Canvassers up until 90 days before the next primary.


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