PROVIDENCE, RI – On the first day they could make it official, 10 candidates filed Declarations of Candidacy with Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis today to represent Rhode Island in Washington, D.C.
• Filing for the U.S. Senate were Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and independent Dany LaPorte. • Filing for the U.S. House of Representatives in the First District were Democrats David Cicilline and Anthony Gemma, Republican Michael J. Donahue and independent David Vogel. • Filing for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Second District were Democrats Jim Langevin and John Matson, Republican Donald Robbio and independent Abel Collins.
Rhode Islanders who are thinking about running for office have until this Wednesday at 4 p.m. to file a Declaration of Candidacy in order to be eligible to appear on this year's ballot.
Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and electors for independent presidential candidates must file with the Secretary of State's Elections Division, 148 West River St., Providence. Voters who plan to run for state or local office must file with the board of canvassers in the city or town where they are registered to vote.
The next important step occurs from July 3 through July 13, when candidates must collect the signatures of enough eligible voters to officially put them on the ballot. The thresholds range from 50 signatures for some municipal offices to 1,000 signatures for U.S. Senate.
This year there will be contests for many municipal offices, General Assembly, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The statewide primary is Sept. 11 and the general election is Nov. 6.
The primary will also be the next statewide test of the state's new Voter ID law. Beginning this year, voters will be asked to show an ID when they vote at the polls. Poll workers will accept a wide range of common IDs including a R.I. driver's license, RIPTA bus pass, college ID, employee ID and U.S. passport.
Voter ID will be phased in over two election cycles. In 2012 and 2013, voters can also use a variety of non-photo IDs including a Social Security card, utility bill, bank statement or any government-issued medical card. Beginning in 2014, only photo IDs will be accepted.
Most importantly, no eligible voter will be denied the right to vote. Voters who do not bring an acceptable ID to the polls can vote using a standard Provisional Ballot. If the signature they give at their polling place matches the signature on their voter registration, their ballot will be counted.
The Secretary of State's office prepares the ballots for all federal, state and municipal elections held in Rhode Island. In addition, the office maintains the statewide voter registration list, promotes voter registration and turnout and creates guides to running for office and voting.
Secretary of State Mollis is committed to making it easier for Rhode Islanders to vote, making it easier to do business in Rhode Island and making government more open and accessible. For more information about the programs and services the Secretary of State offers Rhode Islanders, visit sos.ri.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Barnett at 222-4293