The Rhode Island Board of Elections (“Board”) has instituted the following policy to facilitate access to public records pursuant to RI Gen Laws § 38-2-1, et seq. (“Access to Public Records”)
1. A written or verbal request to inspect or copy public records maintained by the Board pursuant to R.I. Gen. Law § 38-2-1, et seq. (“Access to Public Records”), should be made to the Public Records Officer, 50 Branch Avenue, Providence, RI 02904, or by calling 401-222-2345. The Board asks that you provide the request in writing and requests that you identify and describe the records being requested with as much specificity as possible. A written request may be mailed, hand delivered, emailed (firstname.lastname@example.org) or sent via facsimile (401-222-3135). The Board asks that you complete the Request Form contained herein or otherwise provide a written request for records
2. You are not required to provide any identification or the reason you seek the information, and your right to access public records will not depend upon providing identification or reasons.
3. The Access to Public Records Act allows a public body ten (10) business days to respond, which can be extended by an additional twenty (20) business days for “good cause”.
4. Consistent with State law, the Board will charge $0.15 per copied page; provided, however, if the response to the request consists of twenty (20) or fewer pages, no copying fee will be charged. If the response to the request consists of more than twenty (20) pages, there will be a charge of $0.15 for each copied page. The Board will charge $15.00 per hour for the search and retrieval time required to respond to the request, whether the request seeks copies of records or the right to inspect records; provided, however, there will be no charge for the first hour of search and retrieval time. The Board will provide the requester an estimate of the copying costs and search and retrieval costs prior to responding to the request. The Board, however, will charge the actual cost for the number of copies and actual cost for the search and retrieval time. The Board will require a 50% deposit of the estimated costs when the estimated costs are $50.00 or more and will proceed with the request upon approval of the estimated cost and payment of the deposit, if so required, by the requester. The balance of the actual cost must be paid in advance or, or at the time of, delivery or inspection of the requested documents.
5. A written request is not required for documents prepared for or readily available to the public, including, but not limited to Board regulations, policies, orders, and decisions and such documents are provided at no cost.
6. If you believe you have been denied access to public records, you have a right to file a review petition with the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Board of Elections, 50 Branch Avenue, Providence, RI 02904. If you are still not satisfied, you may file an appeal with the Attorney General or initiate proceedings in Superior Court.
7. The Rhode Island Board of Elections is committed to providing you with public records in an expeditious and courteous manner.