R.i. officials see voting crises on horizon – news – the newport daily news – newport, ri gas appliance manufacturers association

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PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island election officials are pointing to not one, but two, potential crises threatening the 2020 ballot as extra impetus to pass long-sought changes to how and when Rhode Islanders vote. Crisis one: The 2020 calendar puts Rhode Island’s September primary so close to the general election that the state might violate a federal gas efficient cars 2010 deadline to get ballots to troops serving overseas. “This will not leave enough time to certify elections results and prepare ballots in time to meet federal deadlines,” Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea told the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday in support of legislation to move the state’s primary from September to August. Common Cause Rhode Island Executive Director John Marion said he had spoken to a former Obama administration Justice Department lawyer about the issue. “He’s indicated that in all c gastronomie vitam probability, if legislation is not passed this session, [the Justice Department] will sue Rhode Island and the secretary of state will have to enter a consent decree… If it does not pass this June, it will be out of your hands and into the hands of a federal judge.” Crisis two: Surging demand to vote before Election Day is swamping the state Board of Elections and electricity and circuits test city halls in cumbersome “emergency mail ballots.” “I have one word written on this piece of legislation: Help,” Board of Elections Vice Chairman Stephen Erickson told the senators Thursday in an appeal to move, under two possible options, toward a more efficient early-voting system. “We have a very serious problem with emergency mail ballots coming in in numbers they are currently coming in,” he said. “This past election we had 3,000 ballots delivered to the Board of Elections on Election Day from the cities and gas works park fireworks towns. That nearly broke us. It nearly broke the election.” In 2011, lawmakers began allowing voters to vote at city or town halls up to 20 days before an election with only a perfunctory excuse as to why they were gas oil mix ratio chart not waiting until polls open. But they have to do it with mail ballots that are signed, sealed and then hand-delivered to the Board of Elections for counting. Gorbea campaigned on and each year has introduced a bill that would allow conventional early voting 20 days before Election Day with voters feeding ballots into optical counters just as they do on Election Day. It would require city and town halls to be open the Saturday before the election for early voting. The Board of Elections, trying a slightly different tack, has proposed its own bill that does almost the same thing, but doesn’t use the words “early voting” and doesn’t require k gas cylinder any weekend hours. The board has pitched it as a procedural fix to a more efficient system that will make voting before Election Day faster and won’t cost municipalities any money. General Assembly leaders have been cool to early voting. Have the increasingly dire warnings changed the calculus? “I want to wait to hear the hearing testimony,” said Senate President Dominick Ruggerio on Thursday. “I’m not in favor at the bp gas prices ny moment. Convince me.” Gorbea’s primary date proposal would move the vote from the second Tuesday in September, one of the latest primaries in the country, to the third Tuesday in August. In 2020, the primary is scheduled for Sept. 15 and the general election Nov. 3. When mandatory periods to allow recount requests and vote certification are taken into account, Gorbea said that electricity how it works would leave officials with roughly one day to get ballots out to meet the 45-day federal deadline before the general election. And if a recount is requested, the deadline would be breached. “We don’t have the time to conduct recounts under the current law, and therefore it is essentially impossible for this primary as it exists today to be held next year electricity word search pdf,” Erickson said. The early voting and recount bills were among more than a dozen election-related bills heard in the Judiciary Committee Thursday. They ranged from letting candidates use campaign funds on child care to requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns to get on the state primary ballot. A bill from Gorbea that drew some favorable reaction would relieve independent voters of having to disaffiliate after every time they cast a ballot in a primary to remain unaffiliated. Currently, until they electricity history timeline disaffiliate, they cannot vote in a different party’s primary or run for office with a different party. It would also allow candidates to change their party affiliation 30 days before an election instead of making them do it at least 90 days before the vote gas out. “The amount of work that is required is weeks to months in collecting disaffiliation data before a primary,” Nick Lima, registrar for Cranston, told lawmakers about the current disaffiliation process. “It is prone to error and can potentially disenfranchise voters in primaries. The majority of voters voting in a primary are unaffiliated going in and want to be unaffiliated going out.”