Tabulation and Certification of Returns by State Board

SECTION 17-22-2

§ 17-22-2. Public sessions for counting – Persons permitted within railed space.

The sessions of the state board for the counting, canvassing, and tabulating provided for in § 17-22-1, and for the opening of the inner certifying envelopes containing mail ballots and for the counting, canvassing, and tabulating of these ballots, shall be public, but no notice or advertisement of these sessions needs to be given. The opening, counting, canvassing, and tabulating shall be done within a railed space in the room in which it takes place, and the board shall admit within the railed space the candidate, or at least one representative of the candidate, for whom votes are at the time being opened, counted, canvassed, or tabulated who may scrutinize the opening, count, canvass, and tabulation in accordance with the rules which may be adopted by the board. The board shall also admit to the opening, counting, canvassing, and tabulating an equal number of representatives of each political party who shall be party voters of the parties represented by them. These representatives, as well as the representatives of candidates, shall be authorized in writing by the chairperson of the state committees of their respective political parties or by the candidates whom they represent, as the case may be. Insofar as applicable, the procedures provided for in this chapter shall be followed by the local boards in the counting and tabulating of municipal mail ballots, except only that in these instances the representatives of political parties shall be appointed by the chairpersons of the city or town committees of their respective political parties. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prevent the board from admitting, in its discretion, other persons and representatives of the press within the railed space during the opening, counting, canvassing, and tabulating.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1901, ch. 825, § 5; G.L. 1909, ch. 19, § 5; G.L. 1923, ch. 18, § 5; P.L. 1930, ch. 1592, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 311, § 5; impl. am. P.L. 1941, ch. 1040, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 17-22-2; P.L. 1958, ch. 18, § 1; P.L. 1963, ch. 73, § 4.)