We, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of government.
Every citizen of the United States of the age of eighteen years or over who has had residence and home in this state for thirty days next preceding the time of voting, who has resided thirty days in the town or city from which such citizen desires to vote, and whose name shall be registered at least thirty days next preceding the time of voting as provided by law, shall have the right to vote for all offices to be elected and on all questions submitted to the electors, except that no person who has been lawfully adjudicated to be non compos mentis shall be permitted to vote. No person who is incarcerated in a correctional facility upon a felony conviction shall be permitted to vote until such person is discharged from the facility. Upon discharge, such person’s right to vote shall be restored. The general assembly may provide by law for shorter state and local residence requirements to vote for electors for president and vice president of the United States.
The general assembly shall provide by law for the nomination of candidates; for a uniform system of permanent registration of voters; for the exemption from such registration of persons in the active service of the nation and their families absent from the state because of such service, and, in time of war, members of the Merchant Marine; for absentee and shut in voting; for the time, manner and place of conducting elections; for the prevention of abuse, corruption and fraud in voting; and may define by law residence for voting purposes, but no person shall acquire such residence merely by being stationed or assigned in this state in the active service of the United States.