Statewide Referenda Elections

SECTION 17-5-1.1

§ 17-5-1.1. Special referenda elections.

Any proposition of amendment of the Constitution or any other public question submitted to the electors of the state at any election not a general election pursuant to § 17-1-2(2) shall be held on the first Tuesday next after the first Monday of any month and shall be voted upon at town, ward, and district meetings, in accordance with the following procedure:

(1) When an act of the general assembly is passed authorizing the submission of a question to all of the electors of the state, the secretary of state is authorized to rephrase the question to appear on the ballot in a manner that would clearly apprise the voters of the question to be voted upon and to cause the ballot to contain a concise caption of the question, and the full text of the question as adopted by the general assembly need not appear on the ballot except for proposed amendments to the Constitution of the state of Rhode Island. The secretary of state shall cause each question appearing on the ballot prepared by him or her to be designated by number, the first question to be designated by the numeral I and additional questions shall follow numbered so that all questions submitted to all the electors of the state and appearing upon the ballot are numbered consecutively; provided that local questions shall be printed on a distinctive colored background.

(2) Prior to the election at which public questions are to be submitted, the secretary of state shall cause to be printed and shall send one copy of the full text of each legislative act to be acted upon and applicable to the state at large, or the secretary of state may substitute a description of the text of each act in lieu of the full text, to each residential unit in Rhode Island together with the following information:

(i) The designated number of the question appearing on the ballot;

(ii) A brief caption of the question appearing on the ballot; and

(iii) A brief explanation of the measure being the subject matter of the question.

(3) Voting on a proposition of amendment of the Constitution or of a public question of statewide impact shall be by means of optical-scan voting equipment and computer ballots authorized pursuant to this title.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1980, ch. 381, § 2; P.L. 1982, ch. 156, § 1; P.L. 1983 (s.s.), ch. 336, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 163, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 277, § 4; P.L. 1996, ch. 298, § 4; P.L. 2018, ch. 182, § 4; P.L. 2018, ch. 279, § 4.)