Early primary voting starts August 24

Posted 8/17/22

With a trip to City Hall, you can cast your ballot in the primary election as soon as Aug. 24. 

That’s when early voting for the Sept. 13 primary starts in cities and towns throughout …

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Early primary voting starts August 24


With a trip to City Hall, you can cast your ballot in the primary election as soon as Aug. 24. 

That’s when early voting for the Sept. 13 primary starts in cities and towns throughout the state. Kerry Nardolillo, Warwick director of elections, is ready with 89 styles of ballots so no matter where you live in Warwick you can not only make choices for statewide offices and the Second Congressional District but also those running in your ward, state Senate or Representative districts. There are also races in Warwick School Committee Districts 1 and 2. In District 1 made up of Ward 1, 2 and 3, the primary will narrow the field from four to two candidates who will be paired in the general election on Nov. 8. Three candidates are vying for the District 2 seat that covers Wards 4, 5 and 6. 

School Committee are non-partisan seats, yet those candidates will be listed on Republican and Democratic ballots under a separate heading. Unaffiliated voters not wishing to declare a party affiliation to vote in the primary, will have the option of obtaining a school ballot only. 

Voting booths and two DS-200 recording machines will be set up in the basement conference room of City Hall and open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday until Sept. 12 when it will close at 4 p.m. In addition to the two voting machines, voters will have the option of using the ExressVote that will replace the AutoMARK machines to assist handicapped voters. Michael Rooney of the Board of Canvassers explained the state picked the machine that provides  a paper print out of your vote to replace  the more cumbersome AutoMARK. Use of the new machine is not limited to the handicapped and voters have the option of trying it.  

Nardolillo said few people understand what goes into running an election.  

“They just vote,” she said. 

With redistricting in compliance with the Census, state House and Senate seats and the state’s two Congressional Districts were reconfigured as were City Council Wards. Nardolillo was thrilled to get the mail Friday for in it were redistricting cards sent to 66,000 registered Warwick voters informing them of their state districts, ward and school district. The cards were yet another item on a long list of procedures that go into the election. Come primary day, 34 polls will open requiring a staff of 220 including supervisors, who are paid $150 for the day and clerks who will make an additional $50. 

“It’s a long day,” said Nardolillo who pointed out the day starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m. In addition, the staff must attend training sessions. 

Are there enough people to do it?

Nardolillo sounded confident even though as of Friday she was still short 50 poll workers.

Mail ballot applications went out in the last couple of weeks. Voters should be receiving them shortly. The deadline for mail ballot applications is Aug. 23. Legislation approved this year eliminates the requirement that ballots be witnessed. Also, explained Nardolillo, in addition to return mailing ballots, they can be dropped off in a securely locked box not far from the rear entrance to City Hall. Anyone is eligible to drop off the sealed ballots. The box is emptied twice daily by two members of the Board of Canvassers who independently check the count before securing them for delivery to the State Board of Elections.

Nardolillo reminded individuals that those who request, receive and return a mail ballot cannot vote on primary day as they will already have done so. As improbable as this sounds, voters who have cast mail ballots still show up at the polls looking to vote. She said those seeking to vote by mail should visit to obtain their ballot. 

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