Frequently Asked Questions - Special Election for Congressional District 1
- Why is there a special Election at this time?
Congressman David Cicilline resigned effective June 1, 2023. His resignation created a vacancy in Rhode Island’s representation to the U.S. House of Representatives for Congressional District 1. On June 1, Governor Daniel McKee ordered all cities and towns within Rhode Island’s Congressional District 1 to hold a Special Election on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, to fill the vacancy, and to hold a primary election on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, for nominating candidates to fill the vacancy. This will be the first Congressional Special Election in Rhode Island since 1967. The winner of the November 7 Special Election will hold office until the 2024 congressional election cycle.
- What areas of Rhode Island are covered by Congressional District 1?
Rhode Island’s Congressional District 1 consists of 19 cities and towns, including Barrington. Here is a map of the congressional district area.
- Where do I vote for the Special Election?
On Election Day, Barrington’s six voting precincts will be combined into three polling places for the 2023 Primary and Special Elections. Based on the anticipated turnout for the Special Election as well as the multiple ways voters can now vote (e.g., mail ballot, early onsite voting, etc.), the Town is confident that the three combined polling places will efficiently accommodate Election Day voter traffic. Combining the locations will reduce the Town’s expenses to conduct the elections (e.g., fewer places to staff and operate).
Polling locations for the 2023 Primary and Special Elections will be:
- Barrington High School (BHS) - Polling location for Precincts 101 & 106 - If you usually vote at BHS or Town Hall, your polling place will be Barrington High School for the Primary and Special Elections.
- Barrington Middle School (BMS) - Polling location for Precincts 102 & 103 - If you usually vote at BMS or Nayatt School, your polling place will be Barrington Middle School for the Primary and Special Elections.
- Hampden Meadows School (HMS) - Polling location for Precincts 104 & 105 - If you usually vote at HMS or Sowams School, your polling place will be Hampden Meadows School for the Primary and Special Elections.
Please note that Nayatt School, Sowams School, and the Town Hall will not be used as polling places for the 2023 Primary and Special Elections. Barrington voters who usually vote at these locations will instead vote at the combined polling locations described above.
See the map of Barrington’s precincts and voting districts.
- Will there be early voting for the Primary and Special Elections?
Yes, early onsite voting will be available for both the Primary and Special Elections. Early voting takes place at Barrington Town Hall (Council Chamber, 2nd floor) during regular business hours. For the Primary, early voting will be offered from Wednesday, August 16 through Tuesday, September 5 (on September 5, early voting closes at 4:00 PM). For the Special Election, early voting will be offered from Wednesday, October 18 thru Monday, November 6 (on November 6, early voting closes at 4:00 PM).
- Can I vote by mail for the Primary and Special Elections?
Yes, any otherwise qualified Rhode Island voter may choose to vote by mail for the Primary and Special Elections. For the Primary, the deadline to request a mail ballot is Tuesday, August 15. For the Special Election, the deadline to request a mail ballot is Tuesday, October 17. Mail ballot applications are available from the Town Clerk’s office or here. Additional information about mail/absentee ballots is available here.
- Who can vote in the Primary Election on September 5?
Rhode Island has a “semi-closed” party primary system. This means that you may only vote in your party's primary, but if you are registered as "unaffiliated" you may vote in the primary of any party you choose. Once you vote in a primary, however, you are considered a member of that party until and unless you "disaffiliate."
You can check your current voter status and party affiliation at the Secretary of State’s Voter Information Center website. There, you can also edit your voter record to change your party affiliation if you desire. Disaffiliation from any party must take place at least 29 days before the primary date (i.e., by Monday, August 7 in order to take effect for the September 5 Primary Election).
- When is the deadline to register to vote in the Primary and Special Elections?
State law requires that eligible voters be registered no later than 30 days prior to any elections. So for the September 5 Primary Election, the deadline to register to vote is Sunday, August 6, 2023. For the November 7 Special Election, the deadline to register to vote is Sunday, October 8, 2023.
- If I am interested in working as a poll worker for the Primary and Special Elections (and/or other future elections), how do I learn more about this?
Barrington (and other towns) are always looking for registered voters who might be interested in working as a poll worker during elections. General information about being a poll worker is available here. Being a poll worker is a great way to help your community directly and contribute to the smooth, fair, and efficient conducting of local elections. Poll workers are paid for their time on Election Day as well as their training time leading up to Election Day. Poll workers typically can work either half-day (7.5 hours) or full-day (15 hours) shifts. The poll worker application is available here. For more information about being a poll worker, please contact the Barrington Town Clerk’s office at 401-247-1900, ext. 1.
- Where can I go for more information?
Additional information on elections in Rhode Island can be found at: