Board of Elections

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

A state Republican Party complaint filed Tuesday with the state Board of Elections charges that House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello's political action committee exceeded limits on campaign contributions last year.

John Marion, executive director of the good government group Common Cause of RI, joined Bonus Q&A this week to talk about the ongoing battle to improve state government in the Ocean State. We discuss improvements at the state Board of Elections; the relative amount of corruption in RI; how changes are working out at the state Ethics Commission; and much more.

Katie Mulvaney / Press pool photo

Former Cranston State Rep. Peter Palumbo pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges to embezzlement and filing a false document.

The arraignment in Providence District Court lasted about a minute. Wearing a white sweatshirt and jeans, Palumbo was led into the courtroom in handcuffs.

Palumbo, a Democrat, was arrested by State Police earlier in the day at his Cranston home.

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017! Welcome to my last TGIF column of 2016, and thanks for following my reports throughout the year. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

RIPR FILE

Robert Kando, the executive director of the state’s Board of Elections, is out. In a four-to-two vote the group chose to terminate the embattled head.Kando has a bumpy track record at the state Board of Elections. In 2013, he unveiled legislation on behalf of the board without informing board members.

More recently, Kando has been repeatedly suspended as the board’s executive director. One of the suspensions came after Kando did not take management classes ordered as part of an earlier suspension.

Baseball is back, and the contact sport of politics continues unabated. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

RIPR FILE

The executive director of the state’s Board of Elections could face termination, if he doesn’t improve his job performance. The board voted to put director Bob Kando on a probationary period in June. The group chose to disclose the vote at their meeting this Wednesday

Board of elections member Stephen Erickson says among several issues, the board felt Kando did not comply properly with ethics laws.

RIPR FILE

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.

Candidates who’ve run for office owe a total of more than $2 million in fines to the state Board of Elections for past-due campaign reports. The board collected about $43,000 in fines last year.

Former South Kingstown State Senator Patrick McDonald owes the most – nearly $214,000 -- in the Board of Election’s newly posted list of outstanding fines. The outlook for collecting that money is considered bleak as McDonald is currently serving prison time for embezzlement.

A councilor who hopes to be the next president of the Providence City Council says he will pay off nearly 50-thousand dollars in fines owed to the state Board of Elections.

Ward 10 Councilman Luis Aponte has represented Washington Park and parts of South Providence since first winning election in 1998. During that time, Aponte has racked up nearly 50-thousand dollars in Board of Election fines for not filing campaign fundraising reports. Aponte said it’s time for him to deal with the issue.

The Rhode Island Republican Party has taken its complaint over a campaign commercial for gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo to the state Board of Elections.  Democrats insist they’re not doing anything wrong.

Rhode Island Artscape: Designing Better Ballots

Feb 27, 2014
John Bender / RIPR

In Rhode Island a group of design students barely old enough to vote are working on projects that could potentially affect the future of Presidential elections.

For this month’s Artscape, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender profiles a class that is trying to tackle the problem of a better ballot.

On the third floor of a building in downtown Providence, a group of a dozen or so students from the Rhode Island School of Design, also known as RISD are giving their final presentations for a class called VoteLab: Designing for Democracy.

Board of Elections Director to Keep His Job

Mar 12, 2013

Rhode Island elections director Bob Kando gets to keep his job, but he first had to endure a dressing down from his bosses, the Board of Elections. The board felt Kando exceeded his executive authority when he presented lawmakers with a package of elections-related bills.