Don’t get frustrated, but call or, even better, go to the Secretary of State website.
That’s the advice of Warwick Director of Elections Donna McDonald, who expects some voters will show up at their familiar polling location next Tuesday only to find they no longer vote there.
While all of the city’s 61,521 registered voters were mailed cards during the summer listing their polling location, McDonald suspects there will be a fair number who either have forgotten the information or never bothered to look at it to begin with. With the 2010 Census, ward, state district and congressional district lines were redrawn to account for shifts in population, resulting in changes in polling locations.
Some of the more dramatic changes are in Wards 8 and 3. Some Greenwood neighborhood voters accustomed to voting at police headquarters in Apponaug, for instance, will now need to travel to Sparrows Point apartments in Cowesett to cast their ballots. While closer, the police station is in Ward 7 and, by law, can’t be used for a Ward 8 poll. In Ward 3, some voters accustomed to casting ballots at the Warwick Library will now need to travel to the Rhode Island National Guard armory on Airport Road.
What McDonald hopes to avoid is having frustrated voters simply calling it quits and not casting their ballot at all. If voters are uncertain where they vote, she urged them to call her office at 738-2000 x6222 or go to the Secretary of State website at www.sos.ri.gov/vic.
The city’s 33 polling locations open at 7 a.m. and close 8 p.m. for the Sept. 11 primary. In addition to Republican and Democratic primaries for the Second Congressional District, there are Democratic primaries in Wards 3 and 8 and in Senate District 29.
Without statewide primaries as there were two years ago for attorney general, lieutenant governor and secretary of state, McDonald predicts a low turnout. In 2010, 9,603 Warwick voters cast ballots in the primary for a 15.89 percent turnout. Of Warwick’s registered voters, 34,072 are unaffiliated while 20,698 are Democrats, 6,670 are registered Republicans and 80 are Moderates.
McDonald projected the primary will cost $80,000 to run.