2012-03-01 / News

Islanders file to become presidential delegates

Three Jamestown residents were among 135 Rhode Islanders who filed to run for presidential delegate in the state’s April 24 presidential primary.

Would-be delegates had to choose to run as a delegate for one of the presidential candidates who will be on Rhode Island’s ballot or as uncommitted. Barack Obama will be the only candidate on the Democratic ballot. On the Republican side, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum will be on the ballot.

Jamestown’s Amy Lynn Gallagher and Robert J. Gallagher filed to run as delegates for Romney. Hugh A. Murphy filed to run as a Santorum delegate. All candidates had until Feb. 28 to collect the signatures of at least 150 eligible voters in order to qualify to appear on the ballot.

Statewide, 52 Rhode Islanders hope to represent Obama at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., the week of Sept. 3. Voters will elect 22 delegates on April 24.

Romney led all Republican candidates with 27 delegates hoping to go to the Republican National Convention in August in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Twenty-three Rhode Islanders filed to be Paul delegates, followed by 22 for Santorum and 11 for Gingrich. No one filed to run uncommitted or as a Roemer delegate. Voters will elect 16 delegates and 16 alternates.

Rhode Islanders must register to vote by March 24 in order to cast a ballot in the presidential primary. April 3 is the deadline to apply for a mail ballot.

April 24’s presidential primary will be the first test of the state’s new voter ID law. Beginning this year, poll workers will ask voters to show a current and valid ID at the polls. A wide range of IDs will be accepted including a R.I. driver’s license, college ID, U.S. passport and social security card.

No eligible voter will be turned away at the polls. Anyone who does not bring an ID can vote using a standard provisional ballot. If the signatures they give match the one on their voter registration, their ballots will be counted.

Although photo IDs will not be required until 2014, the secretary of sate’s office will visit every municipality to provide free photo IDs to registered voters who don’t already have a valid photo ID. Upcoming stops include Town Hall on Thursday, March 8, from 1 to 3 p.m.

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