Dates set for special U.S. House seat election

The primary and special election to replace Congressman David Cicilline have been scheduled for Sept. 5 and Nov. 7, respectively.

The dates will become law after Gov. Dan McKee signs a formal writ after the seat officially is vacated. Cicilline, who has served the 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011, resigned effective June 1 to become executive director of the Rhode Island Foundation.

“Voting is the hallmark of our democracy,” McKee said, “and our goal is to make it as understandable as possible for both candidates and voters to ensure the highest turnout possible.”

Other dates outlined in the draft include May 31, which is when potential candidates must be registered to vote in Rhode Island. It also marks the deadline for candidates to disaffiliate if they want to run as a candidate from another political party.

The declaration period is June 29-30 and the period to collect signatures for nomination papers is July 6-14. The deadlines to register to vote in the primary and special election are Aug. 6 and Oct. 8, respectively. The deadlines to apply for a mail ballot are Aug. 15 and Oct. 17, respectively. The early voting periods will be Aug. 16 to Sept. 5 for the primary and Oct. 18 to Nov. 6 for the special election.

“I encourage eligible voters and potential candidates to review the proposed calendar and take action now to ensure they are prepared to participate in this upcoming election,” said Greg Amore, secretary of state.

The seat has been blue since 1995 following the retirement of Republican Ronald Machtley.