Primary deadlines loom; only state races contested

Jamestown residents who want to vote in the primary election have until Aug. 14 to register.

The Democratic and Republican primaries are scheduled for Sept. 14, and early in-person voting begins Aug. 24. The deadline to apply for a mail ballot is Aug. 23.

Rhode Island has a semi-closed primary system, which means that voters can only vote in the primary of their registered party. If they are registered as “unaffiliated,” however, they may vote in any primary, but once that ballot is cast, they are considered a member of that party unless they disaffiliate.

Although there will be no primaries for local offices, Jamestown resident Deb Ruggiero, who currently represents District 74 in the Rhode Island House, is running for lieutenant governor.

Ruggiero will seek the Democratic nomination against the incumbent, Sabina Matos, and Cynthia Mendes. The fourth Democrat who filed his nomination papers, Lawrence Valencia, did not secure the required number of signatures to be placed on the ballot.

Republicans Aaron Guckian and Paul Pence will be on the ballot for GOP voters to nominate their candidate for lieutenant governor.

The Democratic primary to elect a gubernatorial candidate will be contested by incumbent Dan McKee, Matthew Brown, Helena Buonanno Foulkes, Nellie Gorbea and Luis Daniel Munoz. Republican primary voters will choose from Ashley Marie Kalus and Jonathan Riccitelli as their candidate for governor.

For general treasurer, James Diossa and Stefan Pryor will appear on the Democratic ticket, and for secretary of state, Democratic voters will decide between Gregg Amore and Stephanie Beaute. Peter Neronha, a Jamestown resident, does not have a primary challenger for attorney general.

There will be no Republican primary for general treasurer, secretary of state or attorney general.

Jamestown voters also will not have primaries for Senate District 13 or House District 74 in the state legislature. There will be no primary, moreover, for the 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

On primary day, all voters will cast their ballots at Lawn School. Early in-person voting is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays through Sept. 12 at Town Hall.

Voters cannot surrender their mail ballot in exchange for an early inperson ballot to be cast at the local canvassing authority. State law does not allow for the substitution of one form of ballot for another, and once the application for a mail ballot is accepted, the voter can either return the completed mail ballot for tabulation, or vote a provisional ballot in person on Election Day. Given the proximity of the election, and the need to ensure the integrity and security of the ballot, it is not administratively possible to substitute different forms of mail ballots, according to the Rhode Island Board of Elections.

At its meeting on July 11, the Jamestown Democratic committee endorsed Gorbea, Ruggiero, Amore and Pryor.