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  • May 28, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    It's a long shot. But a new federal lawsuit seeking a major restructuring of the US House of Representatives claims Rhode Island, among other states, has disproportionate power in Congress. From the Associated Press:

    JACKSON, Miss. A federal lawsuit that seeks to double or even quadruple the size of the U.S. House argues that citizens in Mississippi and four other states don't have enough representatives while Wyoming, Rhode Island and a few others get too many.

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  • April 02, 2010
    By David Scharfenberg

    For those who dare to dream, a talk on publicly funded elections at Brown:

    PROVIDENCE, RI (April 2, 2010) -- Lawrence Lessig will address the current crisis in the nation's democracy and the need for citizen funded elections in a lecture at Brown University on Friday April 9 at 5:00 PM.

    Lessig, a professor at Harvard Law School, is a founder of Change Congress (fixcongressfirst.

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  • June 01, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    As expected, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis has indicated he won't appeal a court ruling that handed the Moderate Party, a nascent third party, a partial victory on ballot access.

    US District Judge William Smith struck down a provision of state law Friday that required new parties to wait until January 1 of an election year to collect signatures for ballot access.

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  • May 29, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    In the latest demonstration of the through-the-looking-glass nature of Rhode Island politics, the state's Democratic-dominated House of Representatives has passed legislation requiring voters to present photo identification before casting a ballot.

    This is a bill that no Democrat in his right mind would support in the Other 49.

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  • January 25, 2009
    By Ian Donnis

    INSIDESegal

    Critics like David Segal, who today has a NYT op-ed on the subject, have been making the case that elections, not appointments, are the way to fill US Senate vacancies.

    As it happens, US Senator Russ Feingold plans to file a Constitutional amendment toward that very end (h/t the Page).

    “The controversies surrounding some of the recent gubernatorial appointments to vacant Senate seats make it painfully clear that such appointments are an anachronism that must end."

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  • December 18, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    A few odds and ends . . .

    -- Ed Fitzpatrick and yours truly write about the push in RI for the National Popular Vote.

    During the Monday evening fundraiser, New Yorker writer Hendrik Hertzberg, a one-time speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, described the Electoral College approach as highly flawed, since it divides the 50 states into "battlegrounds" and "spectators" during presidential elections.

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  • December 16, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Speaking at the Hi-Hat during FairVote RI's Ballot Bash last night, Hendrik Hertzberg talked up the national popular vote concept as a way of enhancing democracy. As he noted, the 50 US states are divided into battlegrounds and spectators because of the decisiveness of the Electoral College. Four states -- Illinois, Maryland, Hawaii, and New Jersey -- have passed a NPV law, and activists in RI plan to seek an override of Governor Carcieri's veto of a related measure.

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  • December 12, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Matt Sledge recently posted about this event elsewhere in blogland:

    There will be plenty more information to come in the coming weeks, but I wanted to give everyone on RI Future the first look at a big event FairVote Rhode Island has planned: New Yorker senior editor and former Jimmy Carter speechwriter Hendrik Hertzberg is coming to Providence (and he's in the blogosphere too).

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  • November 03, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    A reminder on the related stuff on Election night . . .

    -- RI Democrats will be at the Providence Biltmore ballroom.

    -- RI Republicans will be at Ruth's Chris in the GTECH building, free admission (and valet parking!), starting at 7 pm.

    -- The Providence Black Repertory Company (on whose board I serve) is having an Election Watch/fundraiser, One Nation Under a Groove ($20, complimentary apps), from 5 pm-1 am.

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  • October 31, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    A rundown on the related stuff on Election night . . .

    -- RI Democrats will be at the Providence Biltmore ballroom.

    -- RI Republicans will be at Ruth's Chris in the GTECH building, free admission (and valet parking!), starting at 7 pm.

    -- The Providence Black Repertory Company (on whose board I serve) is having an Election Watch/fundraiser, One Nation Under a Groove ($20, complimentary apps), from 5 pm-1 am.

    Read More

  • September 09, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Back during the Providence mayoral primary in 2002, I spent part of Election Day with the two leading contestants, Joseph R. Paolino Jr. and David N. Cicilline. Cicilline, prior to winning, was plainly concerned about the possibility of irregularities and old-school tricks affecting the election.

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  • September 05, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Secretary of State Ralph Mollis says he supports Clean Elections' legislation as a way of making elections in Rhode Island more competititve, and he thinks campaign-finance reform could become law once the state moves past its ongoing budget woes. Mollis make the remarks this morning during a taping of WPRI/WNAC-TV's Newsmakers

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  • September 03, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Steve Peoples has the details:

    Ari Savitzky, the young director of the advocacy organization FairVote RI, is going to law school. The 24-year-old had been on the job for a year.

    New FairVote director Matt Sledge, who could be seen at Savitzky's side during the final days of the recent legislative session, announced the job change late this afternoon.

    Read More

  • July 11, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    From Chris Barnett in the Secretary of State's office:

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (July 11, 2008) - Today at 4 p.m. is the deadline for candidates to submit the signatures of enough eligible Rhode Island voters to get on the ballot this year, according to Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis.

    Rhode Islanders can track the progress of all of the candidates who are vying for a spot on the ballot by visiting the Secretary of State's web site here

    Read More

  • June 24, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Ari Savitzky, major domo of Fair Vote RI, will be offering a talk tomorrow, entitled "Electoral College Dropout."

    Wednesday, June 25th
    7pm
    @Blue State Coffee

    A growing movement is calling for the National Popular Vote compact, a plan to directly elect presidents by popular vote. Every state entering into the NPV compact agrees to give electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, and the compact goes into effect once states making up a majority of the Electoral College have entered into the agreement.



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