The voter registration deadline for the Rhode Island bond election to be held on March 2 is January 31. The deadline to apply for a mail ballot is February 9.
The Rhode Island legislature referred seven bond questions totaling $400 million to the ballot as part of the state budget approved in December. The ballot titles, amounts, and purposes are listed below:
• Question 1: Issues $107.3 million in bonds for the University of Rhode Island Fine Arts Center, the Rhode Island College Clarke Science Building, and the Community College of Rhode Island
• Question 2: Issues $74 million in bonds for state beaches, parks, recreational facilities, and water projects
• Question 3: Issues $65 million in bonds for building and renovating public housing projects
• Question 4: Issues $71.7 million in bonds for transportation infrastructure
• Question 5: Issues $15 million in bonds for the Early Childhood Care and Education Capital Fund
• Question 6: Issues $7 million in bonds for the Cultural Arts and the Economy Grant Program and the State Preservation Grants Program
• Question 7: Issues $60 million in bonds to fund improvements to industrial facilities infrastructure
To put a legislatively referred bond question before voters, a simple majority vote is required in both the Rhode Island State Senate and the Rhode Island House of Representatives. Between 2008 and 2020, voters in Rhode Island had decided 22 bond measures, totaling $1.3 billion in principal value. Voters approved 100 percent of the bond measures, with support ranging from 55.23 percent (Question 2 of 2010) to 83.89 percent (Question 3 of 2016). The last odd-year bond election in Rhode Island was in 1985 where nine bond measures were approved.
Voters can register online, by mailing in a voter registration form, or in person at the local board of canvassers, the board of elections, or other state agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Mental Health.