Rhode Island Ballot Access: Generally and Specifically

Add ballot inaccessibility to the list of Rhode Island’s dubious distinctions. With its requirement that a new party collect signatures from 5% of registered voters, Rhode Island is in a four way tie for dead last in this category.
[Insert the well known list of Rhode Island’s problems directly attributable to poor managment.] But with this track record, it’s understandable that the powers-that-be wouldn’t want to make it easy for citizens to change managers.
Speaking of which, what’s the name of the party that controls the electoral process and pretty much everything else in Rhode Island? Ah, yes. In name, anyway, if not in values legislated.
Petitioners for the Moderate Party will be collecting signatures at the Warwick Mall this afternoon until 6:00 pm if you’re in the area.

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Will
11 years ago

I was just reading the RI General Laws. Basically, it seems that you either need a gubernatorial candidate (it is governor or president, not the other general officers) to get 5% of the vote or get signatures from 5% of the electorate. Not an easy threshold.
As I was reading various sections of it, I was surprised by how much duplicate language there is, as well as that there are laws pertaining to specific municipalities, which don’t seem to apply to others.
17-1-2(9): “Political party” or “party” means: (i) any political organization which, at the next preceding general election for the election of general officers, nominated a candidate for governor, and whose candidate for governor at the election polled at least five percent (5%) of the entire vote cast in the state for governor, or (ii) any political organization which at the next preceding general election for the election of a president of the United States nominated a candidate for president and whose candidate for president at the election polled at least five percent (5%) of the entire vote cast in the state for president, or (iii) any political organization which, on petition forms provided to the chairperson of the organization by the state board of elections, obtains the signatures and addresses of that number of registered qualified voters equal to five percent (5%) of the entire vote cast in the state for governor or president in the immediately preceding general election.

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