Secretary Gorbea outlines March 2 special election

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s voters will soon get a chance to play a role in determining how the state spends a total of $400 million on capital investments, including the environment, housing, education and infrastructure.

R.I. Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea has provided key information and dates for Rhode Island’s special referenda election on March 2.

The seven referenda questions on the ballot involve authorizing the state to borrow money through bonds and temporary notes to make capital investments in several different areas.


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The bond question issues and costs associated with each capital investment are as follows:

  • Higher education facilities ($107.3 million).
  • Beach, clean water and green bond ($74 million).
  • Housing infrastructure state match ($71.7 million).
  • Housing and community opportunity ($65 million).
  • Industrial facilities infrastructure ($60 million).
  • Early childhood care and education capital fund ($15 million).
  • Cultural arts and the economy grant program and state preservation grants program ($7 million).

“Your vote is your voice in how Rhode Island allocates funding on issues important to you – things [such as] education, roads and bridges, housing and child care,” Gorbea said. “Your vote matters and is critical to our state’s success. I encourage all eligible Rhode Islanders to make a difference and be a voter.”

As was the case with November’s general election, voters will have three options to cast their ballot in the special election. Voters may choose to cast their ballot by mail, early in person up to 20 days before the election, or at the polls on Election Day.

To ensure that all voters have the option of voting safely and securely from home, Gorbea will once again send all active registered voters a mail ballot application. Mail ballot applications will begin arriving in mailboxes the week of Jan. 18. Voters will be able to track the status of their mail ballot application and their mail ballot at

Voters will also be mailed a Voter Information Handbook in early February. The Voter Information Handbook will outline each bond question in detail, as well as voting procedures for the state. This information will also be made available on Below is a list of key dates for the March 2 statewide special election:

Special Referenda Election Schedule

  • Sunday, Jan. 31: Deadline to register to vote.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 9: Deadline to submit mail ballot applications.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 10: Early in-person voting period begins.
  • Monday, March 1: Early in-person voting period ends at 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 2: Special Referenda Election, polls open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Cassius Shuman is a PBN staff writer. You may reach him at