Aquidneck Island businessman and Democratic candidate for Rhode Island Secretary of State Guillaume De Ramel released Tuesday a detailed plan to increase openness, transparency and accountability in Rhode Island elections.
“The time has come to modernize the way Rhode Islanders vote,” said Guillaume. “Our policies should always err on the side of increased voter participation and we can do that by adopting methods like in-person early voting, online voter registration and same-day voter registration that have been successfully implemented in other states.
“I want to boost accountability on the appointed Board of Elections body that holds so much power over how ballots are cast, counted or not counted,” he continued. “My plan will give the elected Secretary of State a seat at the table, apply the Administrative Procedures Act and update our statutes to be consistent with Federal law.”
“I hope I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to implement this vision as the next Secretary of State and I look forward to meeting with more Rhode Islanders, discussing the issues and building on this momentum in the weeks ahead.”
See the full plan here
Guillaume’s plan to modernize elections builds upon his earlier plan to transform lobbying in Rhode Island to ensure something like 38 Studios never happens again. You can see that policy here
Guillaume has been a champion of voting reforms in the past. On April 19, 2006, the Providence Journal reported that, “a bill introduced [by Pacheco] at the behest of Guillaume de Ramel, Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, would allow 17- year-olds to register as long as they will turn 18 before the next election. And it would allow 16-year-olds to ‘preregister’ so their registration automatically becomes active when they turn 18.”
Earlier this year, Guillaume testified before the House Judiciary Committee in favor of eliminating the Master Lever and advocating that Rhode Islanders vote in a “more modern way.” See his testimony here
Guillaume is running a grassroots campaign for Secretary of State and is supported by a diverse coalition of community activists, business leaders, working men and women and elected officials.
To date, the Rhode Island Democratic Party, the Rhode Island Association of City and Town Chairs, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Johnston Mayor Joe Polisena, North Providence Mayor Charlie Lombardi, the Providence, Pawtucket, East Providence and Newport Democratic City Committees, the Westerly, Burrillville, Cumberland, North Smithfield, North Kingstown, Smithfield, Johnston and Charlestown Democratic Town Committees, the Rhode Island AFL-CIO Executive Board, the Laborers, AFSCME Council 94, UPAT District 11, International Brotherhood of Police Officers, Teamsters Local 251, Bridge and Ironworkers Local 37, Rhode Island State Association of Fire Fighters, Providence Fire Fighters Local 799, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 328, Rhode Island Brotherhood of Corrections Officers, former Rhode Island Democratic Party Chairman Ed Pacheco – himself a former candidate for Secretary of State – as well as twelve members of the Providence City Council and seventeen elected officials representing Cranston have endorsed Guillaume.
Current Secretary of State, A. Ralph Mollis, is term-limited from seeking re-election to the same office in 2014.
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