Swift Community Center will be sole polling place available that day
The presidential primary has already been affected by the coronavirus pandemic – originally it was to have taken place April 28 and it was moved to June 2. Now Sec. of State Nellie Gorbea is urging voters to request mail ballots, to reduce as much in-person voting as possible over concerns of further spreading COVID-19. As a result, East Greenwich will open only one polling place, Swift Community Center, on June 2.
“The only reason we are opening a polling location is because we are required to by law … in case somebody forgets or never had a chance to request a mail ballot,” said Town Canvasser Elaine Vespia.
To facilitate the process, the state has sent mail ballot applications to every registered voter in the state. Voters must fill out the application and return it to the state Board of Elections (use the postage-paid envelope included with the application) by May 19. Town officials are asking those ballots be returned to the state, not to Town Hall.
The application is the same one that’s been in use for recent elections and asks voters to check off why they are requesting the mail-in ballot. “If Categories 1, 2, or 3 on the enclosed application do not apply to you, please check the box for Category 4,” the accompanying letter from Gorbea states. That fourth category says, “I may not be able to vote at my polling place….”
Because it’s a primary, if you are an unaffiliated voter you need to choose either a Democrat or a Republican primary ballot. If you are a registered Democrat or a registered Republican, you will receive the corresponding ballot.
Sec. Gorbea Friday asked residents to return any mail ballot applications sent to voters who no longer live in the state, such as adult children who started voting in Rhode Island but then moved elsewhere or someone who has died.
For more information, reach out to the Town Clerk’s office, (401) 886-8605.
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