Candidates Who Made the Ballot (Coverage Courtesy of Jim Baron at the Paw Times and Definitely Not of Some Apparent Neophyte at Fountain Street) and a Possible Challenge to Candidate Order
Naturally, being agog for the last week about who did and did not made the ballot, I clicked on an article in today’s ProJo which looked like it might answer the question. Immediately, however, the headline
They’re off! Candidates for offices across R.I. file paperwork
posed more questions than answers. Candidates had “filed papers” – Notice of Intent to Run for office – over three weeks ago. Nor did the single sentence that comprised the article clarify whether the list of candidates that followed (and were posted on the Sec of State’s website) had simply pulled papers or had, indeed, collected enough signatures to be certified for the ballot by the Sec of State. Grrr.
Fortunately, I remembered it had been a while since my last visit to the Pawtucket Times. Ahh – there, in red at the top of the front page, the self-evident headline to a Jim Baron (that’s Jim Baron) article
It’s official: state certifies nomination papers
confirmed by the first two sentences of the article by the estimable Mr. Baron.
We now know which candidates will be on the ballot for national and statewide offices in the Sept. 14 primary contests and for races where there will be no primary, the Nov. 2 general election. The secretary of state’s office certified the candidates’ nominating papers Friday. Secretary of State Ralph Mollis on Friday
To reiterate, this vital update brought to you by Jim Baron at the Pawtucket Times and not by the statewide paper, who apparently brought in an intern who is enthusiastic but clearly unfamiliar with the state’s election process to report on this important development. Please excuse the fuss; it’s just that there’s nothing more frustrating than a newspaper article on a subject of interest that has been poorly – in this case, incomprehensibly – written.
Now, Baron doesn’t stop there. He goes on to report that there may be a (in my opinion, long overdue) challenge to the method by which the state determines the order of candidates on the ballot.
As Mollis was calling out the ballot order as dictated by the ping-pong balls, Independent candidate for governor Joseph Lusi stood and announced he intends to sue to get the process declared unconstitutional.
“I will be filing challenge in to the constitutionality of this,” Lusi declared.
Lusi literally ran away from a Times reporter and photographer who tried to question him about the lawsuit as he left the Statehouse Friday.
Fun! Confirmation of the ballot qualification of candidates PLUS report of a possible political mini-drama. Could a political obsessive ask for better during the normally quiet days of summer?
With regard to the basis of the potential lawsuit, by the way, Mr. Lisi objects to both the existence of the master lever, which automatically excludes votes for non-affiliated (a.k.a. independent) candidates, and to the placement process, codified by the General Assembly, which dictates that non-affiliated candidates will always be last on the ballot after all party candidates. While his objections are most certainly valid – no civilized electoral system offers a master lever – it will be interesting to see whether they are determined to be unconstitutional.
All of this to say that you can click here to check out whether your favorite (or unfavorite) candidate has made the ballot.