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.

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joe lusi
joe lusi
11 years ago

Greetings Anchor, I would like to clarify just a few things as Mr. Baron’s article is not accurate. My declaration did not come as Mr. Mollis was speaking. I raised my hand after Mr. Mollis asked if anyone had any questions. My first question was if it were true, as an independent candidate I could not attain the first spot on the ballot. Mr. Mollis confirmed that as true. He then began to explain how the law is dictated by statute. While he was speaking I did, regretably, interupt Mr. Mollis to ask him my second question. My second question was whether it was true there would be two opportunities on the ballot to vote for party candidates, as oppossed to just one for independents. He confimed yes. Once I finished informing Mr. Mollis I would be filing a federal lawsuit I invited all candidates to feel free to sign the protest. Then I sat down. It was then when Mr. Baron, seated nearby, asked if I would be available to speak afterwards. I responded “maybe”. After a moments’ thought, I felt it better to not witness the continuance of a rigged ballot and left. I handed Mr. Mollis my signed copy on the way out reminding other candidates, pimarily Lincoln Chafee seated in back, who is also malaffected by the ballot as an independent, to please sign if they agree. As I left the chamber I was followed by a Pawtucket times photographer who asked me in the corridor to stay. I told him I did not want to speak as I had already spoken and it was clear what my position was. If need be my campaign manager would field questions. I then began to WALK down the stairs. My request not to answer questions was ignored. Mr.… Read more »

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