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Secretary of State Mollis Invites Public to Lottery for Coventry Town Council Special Election

PROVIDENCE, RI -- Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis is reminding Coventry residents that three deadlines loom in the April 5 special election to fill the town council seat that was held by Laura Flanagan.

This Fri., Feb. 18, at 4 p.m., Mollis will hold a lottery to determine whether Republican Carl Mattson Jr. or Democrat Scott Crowe's name will appear first on the ballot. The lottery, which is open to the public, will be held at the Secretary of State's Elections Division, 148 West River St., Providence.

“I am committed to making government more transparent. There is nothing that will give voters more faith in the fairness of their elections than the opportunity to see for themselves how the process unfolds,” said Mollis.

The lottery is only the latest in a series of milestones in the election calendar to replace Flanagan, who resigned her District 2 Council seat effective Jan. 2 after being re-elected in November.

March 5 is the deadline to register to vote. District 2 residents can register at town hall on weekdays during normal business hours. Even though the deadline falls on a Saturday, Coventry officials will make arrangements for residents to register at the last minute.

In order to register and vote in the special election, you must be at least 18 years old, a resident of District 2 and a U.S. citizen.

In addition to first-time voters, the deadline also applies to residents who have moved or changed their names recently. State law requires voters to update their voter-registration records at least 30 days before an election.

March 15 is the deadline to apply for a mail ballot. Voters who will be absent from the state on April 5 or who are unable to vote in a polling place because of illness or disability are eligible. Voter-registration forms and mail-ballot applications can be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s website. They also are available from the town clerk's office.

After the deadline for requesting a mail ballot, voters who will unexpectedly be out-of-town on the day of the special election can go to town hall through April 4 and request an Emergency Ballot.

As Secretary of State, Mollis oversees many aspects of federal, state and municipal elections held in Rhode Island. His office also publishes guidebooks that include important dates in the election cycle as well as outline how to run for office and how to register to vote.

Secretary of State Mollis is committed to making it easier for Rhode Islanders to vote, helping businesses grow and making government more open and accessible. For more information about elections and voting, visit www.sos.ri.gov/elections.

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Media Contact: Chris Barnett at 222-4293 or cbarnett@sos.ri.gov.

Related links

Department or agency: Office of the Secretary of State

Online: http://www.sos.ri.gov/

Release date: 02-15-2011

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