2011-09-22 / About Town

Public lottery planned for island residents

Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis is inviting Jamestown residents to a public lottery that will determine whether a Democrat or a Republican will appear first on the town’s Nov. 8 ballot.

The lottery will be held at the secretary of state’s elections division on 148 West River St. in Providence on Friday, Sept. 23, at 4 p.m.

“I am committed to making government more transparent,” said Mollis. “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.”

The ballot lottery is only the latest in a series of milestones in Jamestown’s election calendar, according to Mollis.

Oct. 8 is the deadline to register to vote. Jamestown residents can register at Town Hall on weekdays during normal business hours. Even though the deadline falls on a Saturday, Jamestown officials will make arrangements for residents to register at the last minute.

Under state law, Rhode Islanders must be registered at least 30 days prior to an election in order to be eligible to cast a ballot. In order to register and vote, participants must be at least 18 years old, a resident of Jamestown 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.

Oct. 18 is the deadline to request a mail ballot. Completed mail ballots must be received by the Jamestown Board of Canvassers by 9 p.m. on Nov. 8.

After the deadline for requesting a mail ballot, voters who will unexpectedly be out of town on Election Day can go to Town Hall through Nov. 7 and request an emergency ballot.

Voter-registration forms and mailballot applications can be downloaded from the secretary of state’s website at sos.ri.gov/elections.

Two School Committee seats will be on the ballot. As a result of a ballot question passed by Jamestown voters in 2009, the seats will have three-year terms that end in 2014 as the town moves its local elections to even-numbered years in order to coincide with state and national elections.

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