John Bender / RIPR

Rhode Islanders will go to the polls Tuesday to vote in a primary election. The general lack of high-profile races is expected to result in a low turnout of voters. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Longtime North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi faces a challenge from fellow Democrat Kristen Catanzaro in Tuesday's primary election. The race is the hardest-fought mayoral contest in this week’s election.

On a recent afternoon, North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi showed off 19 acres of forested preservation land at Camp Meehan, near the town’s border with Smithfield. Sunlight gleamed nearby on the blue water of the Wenscott Reservoir, a scene so bucolic you’d never know that busy Mineral Spring Avenue is only about a mile away.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Islanders considering running for public office have an upcoming opportunity to learn about campaign fundamentals. The non-partisan good government group Operation Clean Government is staging its latest “Candidate School” on June 4 at Rhode Island College. The head of Operation Clean Government, Margaret Kane, stopped by our studio to discuss the event.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea joins Bonus Q&A to talk about lobbying reform, Voter ID, public records, and much more.

Martin Gallogly / RIPR

Rhode Island’s presidential primary is less than two weeks away, and we are listening to voters from across the State. Rhode Island Public Radio producer Martin Gallogly talked to husband and wife Mimi and Bruce Bartlett at Gary's Handy Lunch, a diner in Newport.

The Bartletts say one of their biggest concerns is national security, but they disagree with Donald Trump's proposals to deport immigrants, and build a wall along the Mexican border. They plan to vote for a Democrat but they are still unsure which one.


Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea has unveiled legislation aimed at reforming Rhode Island’s voting laws. Gorbea promised to modernize the voting system during her campaign.

The proposed legislation brings online voter registration to Rhode Island. Residents would enter a database that can be updated when people move out of town or out of state. Gorbea said that would reduce redundancies in the voter rolls.


Developer Joe Paolino says he’ll try again to bring table games to Newport. Voters approved turn the Newport Grand slot parlor into a casino, but Newporters voted it down. 

Massachusetts voters gave gambling there a thumbs up. And that will hurt the slot parlor, said Paolino “You know right now I’m more concerned about the workers, because the workers are the ones that really put up this fight, they’re very concerned about their jobs.”

Proponents pushed the jobs angle; while opponents said a casino didn’t fit in Newport.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Gina Raimondo made history Tuesday night as the first woman to get elected as governor of Rhode Island. Raimondo is also the first Democrat to win the state’s top job in 22 years.

Raimondo beat Republican rival Allan Fung with unofficial numbers showing her with 40 percent to Fung’s 36 percent, with Moderate Party candidate Robert Healey drawing 22 percent of the vote.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Latinos in Rhode Island make up 8.6 percent of eligible voters in the state. And that is why the Ocean State is one of 12 where the share of eligible Latino voters is larger than the current polling margin between gubernatorial candidates, according to a report by Latino Decisions, a survey research organization specializing in voting behaviors among Latinos.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Despite two close races and a controversial vote on gambling in Newport, The Rhode Island Secretary of State is predicting only moderate voter turnout for today’s mid-term elections.  But the hope is for better numbers than 2010.

That’s because this year has an extremely tight and potentially landmark governor’s race on the line.  Latest polling numbers show Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung neck in neck.  Secretary of State Ralph Mollis says his office is hoping for about fifty percent of eligible voters to exercise their right.

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On this Election Day voters will decide on many major statewide races including governor.  Most municipalities also have local questions.

Barrington voters must contend with a three-page local ballot, and forty local questions.  Secretary of State Ralph Mollis is encouraging Barrington voters, and voters statewide, to look at their ballots before they step into the voting booths.

Rhode Island Philharmonic

Rhode Islanders head to the polls in just a few short days.  In addition to the major races, voters will also decide on spending bonds.  There are four of them. 

For this month’s Artscape, and as part of our Rhody Votes ’14 coverage we’re looking into question Five: the arts and culture bond.  Rhode Island Public Radio's John Bender spoke with morning host Elisabeth Harrison.

For all of our election coverage, visit the Rhody Votes '14 page at our website here


Besides the competitive state elections and ballot questions, voters next week will elect every member of the Rhode Island General Assembly. As part of our Rhody Votes ’14 coverage, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay speaks with morning host Elisabeth Harrison for a look at the major battles in the state legislature.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

President Obama has endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo.  

Raimondo’s campaign detailed the president’s support in a statement.  President Obama says Raimondo has the business experience to create jobs, and the ability to bring people together to solve tough problems.  The president was slated to appear at Rhode Island College Thursday, but canceled to focus on the ongoing Ebola crisis.

Meanwhile, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is due to visit Providence Thursday to campaign for Raimondo’s Republican opponent, Allan Fung.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Now for some Rhode Island election coverage that doesn’t involve the red-hot governor’s race.  Instead, we’re looking at the race one notch down on the ballot: lieutenant governor.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Scott MacKay sat down with Republican Lt. Governor candidate Catherine Taylor to talk about health insurance, a constitutional convention, and whether the office should even exist.