RI secretary of state office

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.

Susan Farmer, who in 1982 became the first women elected to statewide office in Rhode Island when as a Republican she ousted a longtime Democratic incumbent to become secretary of state, has died after a protracted battle with cancer. She was 71.

In a wise move by the Rhode Island Foundation, the foundation has hired Chris Barnett, press spokesman for Rhode Island Secretary of State Ralph Mollis, to become senior public affairs officer.

Barnett has long been one of the state’s most reporter-friendly and helpful p.r. folks in a number of positions, including Rhode Island Housing. His knowledge of state election and public records and e-commerce laws was top notch and his awareness and concern for media deadlines won him respect over the years from journalists.