Voting Access Coalition Calls for Executive Order to Count Ballots Mailed by Election Day, Received by November 6

A coalition of 20 community and voting rights groups called for Governor Gina M. Raimondo to issue an executive order allowing the state Board of Elections to count ballots that are postmarked by November 3rd and received by November 6th, and to count any ballots received by mail that arrive on November 4th. In the recently concluded statewide primary more than 100 ballots that were postmarked by Election Day or received the following day without a postmark were not counted. The Board of Elections estimates that ten times the number of voters will use mail ballots in November.

“Without a change in policy hundreds, if not thousands, of voters will be disenfranchised in Rhode Island,” says John Marion, Executive Director of Common Cause Rhode Island. “Sixteen states have policies in place to count late arriving ballots that were mailed on or before Election Day and Rhode Island voters deserve the same accommodation.”

ACLU of Rhode Island Executive Director Steven Brown added, “The problems the nation is experiencing with timely postal mail delivery are well-documented. Issuance of this executive order is a critical safeguard to ensure that ballots mailed on time are counted and the rights of voters exercising this option are secured.”

“On behalf of the League of Women Voters, I encourage the  Governor to assure all Rhode Islanders that their votes will be counted by waiving the current deadline for returning a mail ballot on Election Day,” said Jane W. Koster, President, League of Women Voters of Rhode Island. “Our League supports voting reforms that best increase turnout and make our elections free, fair and accessible.”

Read the coalition letter here


Members of the Voting Access Coalition who signed the letter:

ACLU of Rhode Island

Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE)


Clean Water Action Rhode Island

Common Cause Rhode Island

Formerly Incarcerated Union of Rhode Island

Latino Policy Institute

League of Women Voters of Rhode Island

NAACP Providence Branch

National Council of Jewish Women Rhode Island

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England

Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence

Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless

Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights

Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus

Rhode Island Latino PAC

Rhode Island Working Families Party

Sunrise Providence

Women’s Fund of Rhode Island

The Womxn Project