Frequently Asked Questions - Redistricting
- How can I find my voting district and polling place?
You can use the RI Secretary of State’s Voter Information Center website to look up your address to see your current voting districts and polling place. The database has been updated to reflect the new voting districts created based on the 2020 census and the 2022 redistricting process.
Also at the Rhode Island Secretary of State's website, you can check your voting record to review your current registration status and party affiliation. In addition, a map with street index is available at the Barrington Board of Canvassers Election Information web page that shows the new boundaries for the legislative districts and voting precincts in Barrington.
And in August 2022, the Barrington Board of Canvassers is sending postcards to all Barrington registered voters, informing voters of their new legislative districts, precinct, and polling place. Please contact the Barrington Town Clerk’s office if you have any questions about voter registration, elections, or polling locations.
- What is redistricting?
Redistricting is the process of redrawing electoral boundaries. It occurs for all levels of representative government, including the US House of Representatives, state legislatures, local voting districts (precincts), and more. These boundaries define the constituency that will be represented in government and the district in which a candidate for office runs.
The US Constitution requires a census of the population and a reapportionment of congressional representatives every ten years. After each new census, states and local governments redraw voting districts to account for changes in population and geography that have occurred over the preceding decade. The 2020 census counted just over one million residents in Rhode Island and 17,153 residents in Barrington.
- Who determined the new voting districts?
Based on the 2020 census figures, the Rhode Island General Assembly established the boundaries for the state’s two congressional districts, the 38 state Senate districts, and the 75 state Representative districts. The new district boundaries were signed into law by the Governor on February 16, 2022.
Once the state legislative districts were established, the local Boards of Canvassers across Rhode Island were responsible for drawing the boundaries for the new voting districts (precincts) for the polling places within each city or town.
- How many legislative districts are there in Barrington?
All of Barrington sits within the First Congressional District for the US House of Representatives.
There is one RI state Senate district (#32) that covers all of Barrington as well as parts of East Providence and Bristol.
Barrington is split across two RI state House districts: one (#66) covers parts of Barrington and East Providence while the other (#67) covers parts of Barrington and Warren.
- How many voting precincts (polling places) are there in Barrington for 2022?
Six voting precincts were established in Barrington for the 2022 redistricting cycle. This is one more than there was during the 2012 to 2021 cycle. RI law limits each voting precinct to no more than 3,000 registered voters. Due to changes to Barrington’s population over the past ten years, the Town added one precinct. Further, the General Assembly made slight revisions to the boundaries for the RI House legislative districts that cover Barrington (#66 and #67), and the Town’s precincts must conform within the newly drawn legislative districts. As a result, some Barrington voters will experience changes to their legislative district and/or their polling place.
The locations of the polling places for the new voting precincts are:
- Barrington High School -- Precinct #101
- Barrington Middle School -- Precinct #102
- Nayatt Elementary School -- Precinct #103
- Hampton Meadows School -- Precinct #104
- Sowams Elementary School -- Precinct #105
- Barrington Town Hall -- Precinct #106
- When do the new voting districts take effect?
The new voting districts take effect for the 2022 election cycle. This includes the September 13 primary election and the November 8 general election. The new voting districts will be in effect for the next ten years.
- How extensive were the changes to the voting districts?
Approximately 6% of all Barrington registered voters (roughly 970 people) were switched from one RI legislative district to a different one. This was the result of passage of the new legislative district boundaries by the General Assembly. Some voters who previously were in RI House District #66 will now be in RI House District #67, or vice versa. These voters will now be voting at a new polling place.
Approximately 31% of all Barrington registered voters (roughly 4,600 people) were moved from one precinct to a different one. This was mainly driven by the creation of a new sixth precinct in Barrington (part of RI House District #67).
Approximately 69% of all Barrington registered voters have precincts and polling places that are unchanged; these voters continue to reside in the same legislative district and will vote at the same polling place that they did prior to 2022.
Because of all the changes that resulted from the 2022 redistricting process, it is extremely important that all voters check to verify their polling location before setting out to vote during the 2022 primary or general elections. You can look up your voter status and polling place on the Secretary of State's website.
- Why are schools used as polling places?
Rhode Island law (RIGL 17-18-15) requires that all public elementary and secondary schools throughout the state shall not be in session on election day (for statewide primary and general elections). Thus, schools become excellent possible locations for polling places since they often already conform to many of the federal and state standards and regulations that apply to polling places (e.g., ADA accessibility, parking accommodations, etc.). Further, if any repairs or changes to the properties are needed in order to conform to election regulations (e.g., filling a cracked sidewalk or installing an ADA-compliant door handle), the Town is in a position to control and act quickly to remedy the situation. This could be problematic if the Town were relying on private property owners to incur the costs of these repairs. Moreover, any funds the Town might spend on the modest building changes or repairs only further enhance or improve the property overall, maximizing the benefit to the Town of the expenditure. Finally, the number of school buildings in Barrington and their geographic locations across Town are distributed in a way that aligns well with voting district boundaries.
- Where can I find more information about redistricting or elections in Rhode Island?
- Barrington Board of Canvassers web page on Election Information.
- Barrington voting district map (with street index).
- Official definitions of the 2022 boundaries set by the General Assembly (Senate Bill 2162 Sub. A as amended), signed by the Governor on February 16, 2022.
- Rhode Island General Laws, Title 17, Elections
- Please contact the Barrington Town Clerk’s office if you have any questions about voter registration, elections, or polling locations.