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.


Woonsocket voters go to the polls next week to elect a state representative to replace Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, who was recently elected mayor of that city.  The election represents the first time that photo identification will be required of voters.

The American Civil Liberties Union is reminding Woonsocket voters to be sure to take along a photo id when they head to the polls Tuesday. Woonsocket is holding a special election to fill the House seat vacated by newly-elected Woonsocket Mayor Lisa-Baldelli Hunt.

Woonsocket Residents Vote For Change

Nov 6, 2013
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In Woonsocket, voters have chosen a new mayor.

They voted by a more than 2-1 margin to elect  State Representative Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, ousting incumbent mayor Leo Fontaine.

Baldelli-Hunt will take the reins of a city that severely raised property taxes to avoid bankruptcy.  Like many residents, voter Farid Latash said the city's financial problems are frustrating.

"Big problem with the taxes.  Nobody working.  Nobody got no money.  They keep raising taxes, raising everything.  That's about it," said Latash.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The leader of efforts to kill straight-ticket voting, Moderate Party founder Ken Block, says opponents of the master lever plan to raise their focus on winning support from House Speaker Gordon Fox and Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed.

“It’s up to the speaker and the Senate president to bring those bills up for a vote in committee to get them to the floor, and now the public pressure begins to mount on both of those offices to do that," Block says. "We’ll be pushing on that very hard over the next month, month and a half.”

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.