Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence (100-RICR-20-00-4)
Rules and regulations are established pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 17-28 and in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act (R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 42-35) and are available for public inspection, submissions, or requests at the Department of State, Administrative Records Division, State Library, State House, 82 Smith St., Providence, Rhode Island 02903.
Enable victims of domestic violence to participate in the electoral process by providing address confidentiality.
4.3 Application filed with the Department of State
A. A registered voter who is a victim of domestic violence (R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-28-2(c)), is eligible to enroll in the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence for the purpose of participating in the electoral process. The application must be submitted on the form provided by the Department of State.
B. A voter registration form shall be attached to the application and must also be completed by the applicant. The home address listed on the voter registration form shall be the participant’s actual place of residence; the mailing address listed on the voter registration form shall be the address designated by the Department of State pursuant to these rules and regulations.
A. Applications may be obtained in person or by mail from the Department of State, Elections Division, 148 West River Street, Providence, RI 02904. Applications may also be obtained on the Department of State's website which is currently: http://sos.ri.gov/divisions/elections/Voters/voter-registration.
B. The Department of State shall also name state and local agencies and non-profit agencies that provide counseling and shelter services to victims of domestic violence as designated sites for victims of domestic violence to obtain applications. This list may be updated as agencies are brought to the attention of the Department of State.
C. The Department of State shall provide each agency with a supply of applications and return envelopes as well as a copy of these rules and regulations and any other instructional materials that the Department of State may deem appropriate.
4.5 Application made at Counseling and Shelter Services
A. If any individual or representative of any designated office (R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-28-6) assisted in the preparation of the application, this individual or representative must sign the application where indicated.
B. Completed applications must be delivered to the Department of State, Elections Division, 148 West River Street, Providence, RI 02904 in a sealed envelope which is clearly marked “Attention: ACP”.
C. Agencies assuming the responsibility for the delivery of the application to the Department of State's Elections Division must deliver the application within seven (7) days of completion.
4.6 Determination of Residence Address
The applicant shall list the address of actual residence on the application. This shall be the address used by the Elections Division for routing the application to the appropriate local board of canvassers for the purpose of determining the appropriate ballot(s) to be provided to the voter.
4.7 Determination of Designated Address for Mailing Purposes
A. The applicant shall also designate a mailing address where official elections mail can be received. It is the address where the participant’s mail ballot application, actual ballot, and other related voting materials will be sent.
B. In the event that the program participant does not wish to or is unable to provide a mailing address, the Department of State will designate a mailing address. Accordingly, the address designated by the Department of State shall be the Department of State, Elections Division - “ACP”, 148 West River Street, Providence, RI 02904. In these cases, the Elections Division will contact the program participant by phone to advise that official election mail is being held for him/her at 148 West River Street.
4.8 Determination of Eligibility of Applicant
The Elections Division shall review each application and shall contact the appropriate court as listed on the application to verify the issuance of the restraining order or no contact order.
4.9 Certification as a Program Participant
A. Upon finding that the application is properly completed and that the applicant is eligible to participate in the program, the Elections Division shall certify the individual as a program participant for a period of four (4) years from the date of filing unless the certificate is withdrawn or invalidated before that date.
B. Notice of acceptance into the program shall be sent to the participant at the mailing address listed on the application. Notice shall also include terms and conditions of participation in the program, an explanation of the procedures and methods of voting available, and the date of expiration of the certificate.
C. The Elections Division shall forward the completed voter registration form to the appropriate local board of canvassers with a cover letter explaining the procedures to be followed. The original application shall be kept on file at the Elections Division.
The local board of canvassers shall maintain all registrations pertaining to program participants in a separate file maintained in a location which is not accessible to the public. Access to such separate file shall be expressly limited to local board of canvasser employees. The local board of canvassers shall not include the name or the address of a program participant in any list of registered voters available to the public. The board of canvassers may not make the participant’s address contained in voter registration records available for public inspection or copying except as permitted by state law (R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-28-5).
4.11 Disclosure of Residence Address and Mailing Address
The actual residence address and mailing address of a program participant cannot be disclosed other than as set forth in state law (R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-28-6).
The program participant may vote within the 20 day period before Election Day by visiting their city or town hall or the Department of State's Election's Division.
4.13 Voting in Person on Election Day
The program participant may vote in person by going to the local board of canvassers in the city or town in which he/she resides and obtaining a temporary certificate of registration on election day. The local board shall prepare such temporary certificate of registration in accordance with regulations issued by the State Board of Elections. The local board will direct the voter to the appropriate polling place within the city or town. The voter shall present the certificate to the warden at the polling place where he or she will be allowed to vote.
4.14 Voting by Mail Ballot
A. The program participant may vote by mail ballot by requesting a mail ballot application from the Elections Division. The participant shall receive a mail ballot application, an envelope addressed to the appropriate local board of canvassers, and instructions on the information to be provided on the mail ballot application. This instruction sheet will include instructions on applying for a mail ballot including, but not be limited to, the following:
1. Filling out the mail ballot application using the designated address in lieu of registered address on the application;
2. Checking off category #1 and print “ACP” in the space provided for location; and
3. Entering the designated address as the mailing address under category #1.
B. The applicant must return the completed application to the appropriate local board of canvassers in the envelope pre-addressed and provided by the Elections Division.
C. The local board of canvassers shall process and certify such applications. The local board shall print “ACP” as well as the district number in the space provided in the top right-hand corner of the mail ballot application. The application and accompanying certification sheets must be sent to the Elections Division separate from any other mail ballot applications in a sealed envelope marked “Attention: ACP” in the same manner and time frame as all other certified mail ballot applications. Names of program participants voting by mail ballot shall not be made public or included in any public list of mail ballot voters.
4.15 Issuance of Ballot
The Elections Division shall process the mail ballot application and send the mail ballot to the program participant at the mailing address provided on the address confidentiality application. The ballot sent to the program participant shall be the ballot that corresponds to the residence address of the program participant. The Elections Division shall print “ACP” as well as the district number on the inner-certifying envelope. The return envelope provided to the program participant and addressed to the State Board of Elections shall include the notation “Attention: ACP”.
4.16 Board of Elections Notification
A. The Elections Division shall maintain a confidential listing of persons participating in the address confidentiality program. The listing shall contain the name of the voter, the actual residence address, the designated mailing address, and the congressional, senatorial, representative, and local district information of the person’s residence address.
B. Twenty (20) days prior to any primary or election, the Elections Division shall forward a sealed envelope containing the list of persons participating in the address confidentiality program, and voting by mail ballot in said election, to the Chair of the State Board of Elections. Said envelope shall be opened only if requested by a law enforcement agency or if directed by a court order (R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-28-6). If not opened in accordance with state law (R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-28-6), the Board of Elections shall return the sealed envelope to the Elections Division upon certification of the election results.
4.17 Tabulation of Ballots Cast by Program Participants
Voted mail ballots shall be certified and tabulated in a manner to maintain address confidentiality in accordance with rules and regulations set forth by the Board of Elections.
4.18 Re-certification and/or Removal from the Program
A. At the conclusion of the four (4)-year certification, the participant must reapply to the Elections Division in order to be eligible to participate in the program. The Elections Division shall send notice to the program participant ninety (90) days prior to the expiration of the four (4)-year certification.
B. The Elections Division may cancel the certification of a program participant if mail sent to the designated address is returned as undeliverable, or if the program participant moves without providing the Department of State with seven (7) days prior notice. The Elections Division shall cancel the certification of a program participant if material information on the application is found to be false or if the program participant obtains a name change. The Elections Division shall immediately send such notice of cancellation to the program participant. If the notice of cancellation is returned as undeliverable, then it shall be retained as part of the file and the return notice shall be deemed to have been given.
4.19 Board of Elections Rules and Regulations
This rule and regulation must be read and interpreted in conjunction with the Board of Elections rules and regulations adopted pursuant to state law (R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-28-8).
|Title||100||Department of State|
|Part||4||Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence (100-RICR-20-00-4)|
|Type of Filing||Amendment|
Regulation Authority :
R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 17-28
Purpose and Reason :
The Address Confidentiality for Victims of Domestic Violence regulation enables victims of domestic violence to participate in the electoral process by providing address confidentiality. The amendments to the regulation are largely technical in nature. The amendment requires an applicant to attest to the fact they have an active restraining/no contact order against another individual instead of providing a copy of the order. The amendment also creates a way for applicants to vote in advance of Election Day consistent with current state law. No comments were received during the public comment period or at the public hearing held on January 18, 2018.