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What is your plan for voting in this November’s election?

I’m not asking IF you are voting (it’s your civic duty), or for whom (that’s your choice), but HOW are you voting? There are now three ways to vote in Rhode Island: You can vote early and in-person at your local board of canvassers, you can vote by mail or vote at the polls.

Rhode Islanders can now vote early and in-person in the 20 days before any election in this state. It’s true. The General Assembly passed legislation during a special session on July 16 and the governor signed it into law on July 22.

Like many of you, I voted by mail in the September primary, but I intend to vote in-person and early at my Town Hall for the general election. I want to see my vote go into that voting machine and be counted.

If you can, I strongly recommend that you vote early at your town or city hall. Take advantage of the 20-day window to cast your vote from Oct. 14 through Nov. 2. It’s fast, easy, and safe. Here are the simple steps:

1. Stop by or call your town hall (check its business hours) with your ID and wear a mask.

2. You’ll be checked in on the e-poll book and receive a ballot.

3. Fill out the ballot and place it in the voting machine.

4. Watch your vote being cast and counted!

If you feel safer voting by mail you can do so. You can download a mail ballot application right now at vote.sos.ri.gov (or wait for one to arrive from the Secretary of State’s Office). Fill it out and drop it off at your local Board of Canvassers at your town or city hall. Your application must be received by Oct. 13 for you to receive a mail ballot.

Once your ballot arrives, fill it out immediately and drop it off at the secure box at your town or city hall or (if you’re comfortable) drop it in the mail. Do not delay and plan accordingly.

Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now. I love that line from time-management expert Alan Lakein.

So, what’s your voting plan for this election? Make a plan now. And then VOTE as if your life and your future depend on it, because it does!

Rep. Deborah Ruggiero represents District 74 (Jamestown/Middletown).

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