Senate Bill #2446 (2018)

AN ACT RELATING TO ELECTIONS

Allows any voter who has designated their political party affiliation to change that affiliation on or before the 30th day preceding any primary.

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Changes since original draft

  • 2018 – S 2446
  • 2018 – S 2446 SUBSTITUTE A
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  • LC004731
  • LC004731/SUB A/2
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  • S T A T E O F R H O D E I S L A N D
  • IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • JANUARY SESSION, A.D. 2018
  • ____________
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO ELECTIONS
  • Introduced By: Senator Frank S. Lombardi
  • Date Introduced: February 15, 2018
  • Referred To: Senate Judiciary
  • (Secretary of State)
  • It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
  • SECTION 1. Section 17-9.1-24 of the General Laws in Chapter 17-9.1 entitled "Registration of Voters" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 17-9.1-24. Change of designation.
  • (a) Any person who has designated his or her party affiliation pursuant to § 17-9.1-23 may change the designation on or before the ninetieth (90th) twenty-ninth day preceding any primary election for which the person is eligible. Whenever any person desires to change his or her party designation, that person shall appear before the local board of the city or town in which that person has his or her residence, as defined in § 17-1-3.1, or before the clerk or other duly authorized agent of the board, and shall change his or her party designation and, after the information has been recorded on the form furnished for that purpose, the person shall sign his or her name and certify to the truth of the facts recorded in the appropriate spaces in the form; or the person shall furnish an affidavit properly executed and signed by him or her to the board directing the board to change the party designation. Whenever any person is unable to sign his or her name because of physical incapacity or otherwise, that person shall make his or her mark "(X)", which shall be witnessed by the person receiving the registration. For the convenience of persons voting at a primary election, affidavits for changing party designation shall be available at all primary polling places. The presence of the affidavits at the primary polling place shall not be construed to allow a person to change his or her party designation within ninety (90) twenty-nine (29) days preceding the primary election.
  • (a) Any person who has designated his or her party affiliation pursuant to § 17-9.1-23 may change the designation on or before the ninetieth (90th) thirtieth day preceding any primary election for which the person is eligible. Whenever any person desires to change his or her party designation, that person shall appear before the local board of the city or town in which that person has his or her residence, as defined in § 17-1-3.1, or before the clerk or other duly authorized agent of the board, and shall change his or her party designation and, after the information has been recorded on the form furnished for that purpose, the person shall sign his or her name and certify to the truth of the facts recorded in the appropriate spaces in the form; or the person shall furnish an affidavit properly executed and signed by him or her to the board directing the board to change the party designation. Whenever any person is unable to sign his or her name because of physical incapacity or otherwise, that person shall make his or her mark "(X)", which shall be witnessed by the person receiving the registration. For the convenience of persons voting at a primary election, affidavits for changing party designation shall be available at all primary polling places. The presence of the affidavits at the primary polling place shall not be construed to allow a person to change his or her party designation within ninety (90) thirty (30) days preceding the primary election.
  • (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, affidavits for changing party designation which are executed by voters at polling places immediately after voting in primary elections conducted in the city of Warwick in January, 2000, shall take effect immediately.
  • (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, affidavits for changing party designation which are executed by voters at polling places immediately after voting in primary elections conducted in senate district 20 comprising parts of the city of Woonsocket and town of Cumberland in March, 2008, shall take effect immediately.
  • SECTION 2. Sections 17-14-1 and 17-14-11 of the General Laws in Chapter 17-14 entitled "Nomination of Party and Independent Candidates" are hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 17-14-1. Declarations of candidacy.
  • During the last first consecutive Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in June in the even years and during the thirty-ninth (39th) and fortieth (40th) days preceding a primary election for a special election, or for an election regularly scheduled for a time other than the biennial general statewide election, each voter desiring to be a candidate at the upcoming primary or an independent candidate on final nomination papers shall, on a form that shall be provided by the secretary of state, file a declaration of his or her candidacy not later than four (4:00) p.m. of the last day for the filing with the secretary of state for congressional and statewide general offices, or with the local board of the place of the candidate's voting residence for general assembly, or state committee or senatorial and representative district committee or with the appropriate local board for local officers. The declaration shall be signed by the candidate as his or her name appears on the voting list. The signature shall be accepted as valid if it can be reasonably identified to be the name and signature of the voter it purports to be. A variation of the voter's signature by the insertion or omission of identifying titles or by the substitution of initials for the first or middle names of both shall not in itself be grounds for invalidation of the signature. The declaration shall also include the following information:
  • (1) The candidate's name as it appears on the voting list, subject to the same provisions as relate to the voter's signature on the declaration;
  • (2) The address as it appears on the voting list, provided that an address which is substantially the same as the address on the voting list shall be valid;
  • (3) The party declaration if seeking to run in a party primary;
  • (4) The office sought;
  • (5) The place and date of birth;
  • (6) The length of residence in the state and in the town or city where he or she resides;
  • (7) A certification that he or she is neither serving a sentence, including probation or parole, for which he or she was imprisoned upon final conviction of a felony imposed on any date nor serving any sentence, whether incarcerated or suspended, on probation or parole, upon final conviction of a felony committed after November 5, 1986;
  • (8) A certification that he or she has not been lawfully adjudicated to be non compos mentis, of unsound mind;
  • (9) In the case of candidates for party nomination, a certification that he or she has not been a member of a political party other than the declared party within ninety (90) days of the filing date; and
  • (10) If a person is a candidate for a state or local office, a certification that the person has not within the preceding three (3) years served any sentence, incarcerated or suspended, on probation or parole, for a crime committed after November 5, 1986, upon a plea of nolo contendere or guilty or upon a conviction of a felony or for a misdemeanor for which a sentence of imprisonment for six (6) months or more, whether suspended or to be served as imposed.
  • 17-14-11. Checking and certification of nomination papers – Challenge.
  • Each nomination paper for party and independent candidates shall be submitted before four o'clock (4:00) p.m. on the sixtieth (60th) day before the primary to the local board of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters or, in the case of special elections, on the twenty- eighth (28th) day before the primary. Nomination papers for independent presidential candidates and presidential candidates of political parties, other than those defined in § 17-1-2(9), shall be filed not later than sixty (60) ninety (90) days prior to the general election. Each local board shall immediately proceed to check signatures on each nomination paper filed with it against the voting list as last canvassed or published according to law. In the case of candidates for statewide office, the local boards shall certify the number of names appearing on the nomination papers that are in conformity with the requirements of § 17-14-8, and after considering any challenge under this section, shall immediately file all nomination papers for the officers with the secretary of state. In the case of all other candidates, the local boards shall certify a sufficient number of names appearing on the nomination papers that are in conformity with the requirements of § 17-14-8 to qualify the candidate for a position on the ballot, and after considering any challenge under this section and, if necessary, certifying any additional valid names, shall immediately file nomination papers for general assembly and state and district committee candidates with the secretary of state; provided, that nomination papers for local candidates shall be retained by the local board. If any candidate or the chairperson of any party committee questions the validity or authenticity of any signature on the nomination paper, the local board shall immediately and summarily decide the question, and for this purpose, shall have the same powers as are conferred upon the board by the provisions of § 17-14-14. If any challenged signature is found to be invalid, for any reason in law, or forged, then the signature shall not be counted.
  • SECTION 3. Section 17-15-1 of the General Laws in Chapter 17-15 entitled "Primary Elections" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 17-15-1. Date of primaries.
  • A primary election for the nomination of candidates for each political party shall be held in each voting district in the manner provided in this chapter on the second Tuesday after the first Monday in September on the third Tuesday after the first Monday in August in each even numbered year.
  • SECTION 4. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2019.
  • SECTION 2. Section 17-25-8 of the General Laws in Chapter 17-25 entitled "Rhode Island Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 17-25-8. Appointment of campaign treasurer by candidate – Filings.
  • (a) Each candidate in an election shall file a "notice of organization" with the board of elections and appoint one campaign treasurer before receiving any contribution or expending any money in furtherance or aid of the candidate's candidacy. The "notice of organization" shall include the name and address of the candidate, the campaign treasurer and the committee being established. The candidate shall declare the office being sought and shall comply with the financial statement requirement of § 36-14-16(c).
  • (b) A candidate may appoint deputy campaign treasurers as required. The candidate shall file the names and addresses of deputy campaign treasurers with the board of elections.
  • (c) A candidate may remove a campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer. In the case of the death, resignation, or removal of a campaign treasurer, the candidate shall appoint a successor as soon as practicable and shall file his or her name and address with the board of elections within ten (10) days. A candidate may serve as his or her own campaign treasurer, and upon failure to designate a treasurer, the candidate shall be designated his or her own treasurer by the board of elections.
  • SECTION 3. Section 36-14-16 of the General Laws in Chapter 36-14 entitled "Code of Ethics" is hereby amended to read as follows:
  • 36-14-16. Financial statement to be filed.
  • (a) On or before the last Friday in April of each year, the following officials and employees subject to this code of ethics shall file with the commission a financial statement complying with the requirements of this chapter.
  • (1) All state elected officials;
  • (2) All state appointed officials;
  • (3) All state appointed officials and employees who hold a major decision-making position in a state agency;
  • (4) All municipal elected officials; and
  • (5) All municipal appointed officials whose official duties and responsibilities include exercising decision-making authority over the expenditure of more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in public funds in any fiscal or calendar year, and expressly including solicitors and assistant solicitors, police chiefs, fire chiefs, superintendents of schools, principals, superintendents and administrators of charter schools, board members of charter schools, principals, superintendents and administrators of state schools, board members of state schools, building inspectors, members of planning boards, zoning boards, licensing boards and tax appeal boards. This subsection shall also include all municipal appointed officials whose official duties and responsibilities include nominating, appointing or hiring any persons that will receive compensation of more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in public funds in any fiscal or calendar year.
  • (b) In the case of state and municipal appointed officials on and after January 1, 1988, the appointee shall file the financial statement within thirty (30) days after the date of his or her appointment or the date he or she qualifies for the office; provided, however, that in the case of the appointment of officials that require senate confirmation, the appointee shall file the financial statement with the appropriate senate committee prior to the institution of those confirmation proceedings.
  • (c) Within thirty (30) days after the filing deadline, or within thirty (30) days after filing a notice of organization or compliance with § 17-25-8 every person who is a candidate for an office as an elected officer, except those candidates for moderator and clerk of a voting district of the cities and towns, shall file the financial statement as required by this chapter. Filings of candidates for general office shall include information as required in subdivision 36-14-17(b)(2). The commission shall grant an extension for good cause shown of not more than fifteen (15) days, provided a request for the extension is received prior to the filing deadline for the financial statement.
  • (d) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, at least thirty (30) days before the deadline date for the filing of a financial statement by each individual required to file, the commission shall mail to the individual a copy of the financial statement form. In the case of candidates other than those covered by subsection (f) of this section, the forms shall be mailed within ten (10) days after the filing deadline date. In the case of appointed officers covered by this section, the forms shall be mailed within seven (7) days after the date of the appointment.
  • (e) If a person has filed a financial statement as required by one subsection of this section covering the preceding calendar year, he or she is not required to file a financial statement as required by another subsection if, before the deadline for filing under the other subsection, he or she notifies the commission in writing that he or she has already filed a financial statement under the subsection specified.
  • (f) A person required to file a financial statement under subsection (a) of this section may request the commission to grant an extension of time of not more than sixty (60) days for filing the statement. The commission shall grant the extension of not more than sixty (60) days if the request is received prior to the filing deadline or if a timely filing or request for extension is prevented because of physical or mental incapacity. Not more than one extension may be given to a person in one year except for good cause shown.
  • (g) The deadline for filing any statement required by this section is 5:00 P.M. of the last day designated in the pertinent subsection of this section for filing the statement. When the last day of filing falls on a Saturday or Sunday or an official state holiday, the deadline for filing is extended to 5:00 P.M. of the next day which is not a Saturday or Sunday or holiday. Any statement required by any provision of this section to be filed within a specified time period shall be deemed to be timely filed if it is placed in the United States post office or in the hands of a common or contract carrier properly addressed to the appropriate authority within the time limits applicable to the statement. The postmark or receipt mark (if received by a common or contract carrier) will be prima facie evidence of the date that the statement was deposited with the post office or carrier. The person filing the statement may show by competent evidence that the actual date of posting was to the contrary.
  • SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon passage.
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  • LC004731
  • LC004731/SUB A/2
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  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO ELECTIONS
  • ***
  • This act would allow any person who has designated their party affiliation to change the designation on or before the twenty-ninth day preceding any primary election. It also changes the date of primaries to the third Tuesday after the first Monday in August.
  • This act would take effect on January 1, 2019. ======== LC004731 ========
  • EXPLANATION
  • BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
  • OF
  • A N A C T
  • RELATING TO ELECTIONS
  • ***
  • This act would allow any voter who has designated their political party affiliation to change that affiliation on or before the thirtieth day preceding any primary. It would also require all candidates for elected office to include, when they file their "notice of organization", declaration of the office being sought and to file their code of ethics financial statements within thirty (30) days thereafter.
  • This act would take effect upon passage. ======== LC004731/SUB A/2 ========

Votes

NOTE: Electronic voting records are unofficial and may not be accurate. For an official vote tally, check the House or Senate Journal from the day of the vote.

Floor vote for Passage

June 19, 2018 at 6:12pm
Yeas: 37 / Nays: 0 / Not voting: 0 / Recused: 0
Legislator Vote
Sen. Algiere Y
Sen. Archambault Y
Sen. Calkin Y
Sen. Cano Y
Sen. Ciccone Y
Sen. Conley Y
Sen. Cote Y
Sen. Coyne Y
Sen. Crowley Y
Sen. DaPonte Y
Sen. DiPalma Y
Sen. Euer Y
Sen. Felag Y
Sen. Fogarty Y
Sen. Gallo Y
Sen. Gee Y
Sen. Goldin Y
Sen. Goodwin Y
Sen. Jabour Y
Sen. Lombardi Y
Sen. Lombardo Y
Sen. Lynch Prata Y
Sen. McCaffrey Y
Sen. Metts Y
Sen. Miller Y
Sen. Morgan Y
Sen. Nesselbush Y
Sen. Paolino Y
Sen. Pearson Y
Sen. Picard Y
Sen. Quezada Y
Sen. Raptakis Y
Sen. Ruggerio Y
Sen. Satchell Y
Sen. Seveney Y
Sen. Sheehan Y
Sen. Sosnowski Y