Those thinking of running for office must file an official Declaration of Candidacy from June 25-27 in order to be eligible to appear on the ballot.
“Campaigning may have already begun, but the race will be over for anyone who misses the three-day filing period,” said Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis in a statement released by his office.
That deadline is just one of the milestones included in “How to Run for Office,” a free guide that outlines the key steps candidates must take in contests for everything from school committee to U.S. Senate.
Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and Independent Presidential Electors must file their declarations with the Secretary of State’s Office. Warwick voters who plan to run for the General Assembly or municipal office must file with the Warwick Board of Canvassers.
The next important milestone for candidates is July 3 through July 13, when they must collect the signatures of enough eligible voters to officially put them on the ballot. The thresholds range from 50 signatures for some municipal offices to 1,000 signatures for U.S. Senate.
“How to Run for Office” even outlines campaign finance requirements – including the July 31 deadline for candidates for state and local office to submit financial disclosure reports – and lists contact information for election officials in every city and town.
The 30-page guide is posted on the Secretary of State’s website at sos.ri.gov, along with other key documents such as the Declaration of Candidacy form.
This year there will be contests for municipal offices, General Assembly, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The statewide primary is Sept. 11 and the general election is Nov. 6.
“How to Run for Office” also includes information about the state’s new Voter ID law. Beginning this year, voters will be asked to show an ID when they vote at the polls. Poll workers will accept a wide range of common Ids, including a R.I. driver's license, RIPTA bus pass, college ID, employee ID card and U.S. passport.
The Secretary of State's Office will provide free IDs to voters who do not already have an acceptable photo ID. They can be obtained at the Secretary of State's Elections Division, 148 West River St., Providence, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In addition, a schedule of other locations where voters can obtain an ID is posted at sos.ri.gov.
In order to obtain an ID, voters must bring proof of identity such as a Social Security card, credit or debit card, utility bill or government-issued document. The ID, which includes a color photo of the voter and the voter's full name, will be created on the spot.
Voter ID will be phased in over two election cycles. In 2012 and 2013, voters can also use a variety of non-photo Ids, including a Social Security card, utility bill, bank statement or any government-issued medical card. Beginning in 2014, only photo IDs will be accepted.