2011-10-06 / News

Baines will appear first on November’s ballot

Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis recently announced that a Democratic candidate will appear first on the ballot for the two School Committee seats that voters will decide on Nov. 8.

Mollis invited Jamestown residents to attend the public ballot placement lottery on Sept. 23 that determined which party would appear first.

“I campaigned for this office on a pledge to make 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.

Democrat Sarah Robina Baines will appear first on the ballot, followed by Republican Lowell S. Thomas and Democrat B.J. Whitehouse.

The ballot placement lottery is only the latest in a series of milestones in the 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 open Town Hall from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 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, you 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. Mail ballot applications must be received by the Jamestown Board of Canvassers by 4 p.m. on the 18th.

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

After the deadline for requesting a mail ballot passes, voters who unexpectedly will be unable to vote at their polling place on the day of the election can go to town hall during normal business hours 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.

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.

For more information, visit sos. ri.gov/elections.

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