§ 17-12.1-4. Presidential candidates.
(a) Any person seeking the endorsement of a national political party for which a primary is being held shall, during the ninety-fourth (94th) through and including the ninety-sixth (96th) day preceding the presidential preference primary being held, provide written notification to the secretary of state of his or her intention to run in the presidential preference primary. When the deadline falls on a Saturday, said written notification may be filed with the secretary of state on that Saturday until noon (12:00) p.m. The notification shall include the candidate's name and address and a statement affirming their eligibility, under the laws and Constitution of the United States, to serve, if elected, in the office of President of the United States. The notification shall also include the name and contact information of the designee authorized by the presidential candidate to act in his/her stead in Rhode Island.
(b)(1) Upon receipt of the notification referred to in subsection (a) of this section, the secretary of state shall, by six o'clock (6:00) p.m. on the same day, prepare petition papers for candidates who are eligible to serve in the office of President of the United States, clearly marked with the candidate's name, party designation, and the office the candidate seeks; provided, however, that for notifications filed on a Saturday deadline by noon (12:00) p.m., petition papers shall be prepared by two o'clock (2:00) p.m. on that Saturday.
(2) The petition papers of a candidate for president shall be signed, in the aggregate, by at least one thousand (1,000) eligible voters and shall be submitted on or before four o'clock (4:00) p.m. in the afternoon of the eighty-second (82nd) day before the presidential preference primary to the local board of the city or town where the signers appear to be voters, and the petition papers shall be checked, processed, and certified to the secretary of state by the local boards before four o'clock (4:00) p.m. in the afternoon of the sixty-ninth (69th) day before the presidential preference primary. When nomination papers have been duly certified by the appropriate local boards of canvassers, they shall be conclusively presumed to be valid, unless written objections to them are made as to the eligibility of the candidate or the sufficiency of the nomination papers or the signatures on them. All objections shall be filed with the state board of elections by four o'clock (4:00) p.m. on the next business day after the last day fixed for local boards to file nomination papers with the secretary of state. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the secretary of state from disqualifying a candidate based on the determination of the secretary of state that the nomination papers or the signatures on them are invalid or insufficient.
(c) The decision of the state board shall be rendered not later than four o'clock (4:00) p.m. on the sixty-third (63rd) day before the presidential preference primary and shall immediately be certified by the state board to the secretary of state.
(d) If any candidate for presidential nomination does not qualify for ballot placement, the names of delegates committed to this disqualified presidential candidate, who are otherwise qualified, shall appear on the ballot in accordance with party rules.
(e) If any candidate whose name has been announced as a presidential nominee does not thereafter wish his or her name to appear on the ballot, the candidate shall, at least sixty-three (63) days prior to the date for the primary, file an affidavit with the secretary of state stating his or her name may not be placed on the ballot and the secretary of state shall not place that candidate's name on the ballot. Said affidavit must be signed by the presidential candidate or his or her designee on file with the office of the secretary of state. Names of delegates committed to the withdrawn candidate, who are otherwise qualified, shall appear on the ballot in accordance with party rules.
(P.L. 1975, ch. 275, § 2; P.L. 1992, ch. 249, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 80, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 390, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 479, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 218, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 303, § 1.)