Title 17

Chapter 8
Local Canvassing Authorities

R.I. Gen. Laws § 17-8-7

§ 17-8-7. Power of boards to administer oaths and subpoena evidence — Self-incrimination — False swearing.

The members of the local boards are severally authorized to administer oaths, and the boards, in all cases of every nature pending before them, are authorized and empowered to summon witnesses by subpoena signed by the clerk of those boards, and to compel these witnesses to attend and testify in the same manner as witnesses are compelled to appear and testify in any court; and the boards are authorized to compel the production of all papers, books, documents, records, certificates, or other legal evidence that may be necessary or proper for the determination and decision of any question or the discharge of any duty required by law of the boards, by issuing a subpoena duces tecum, signed by their clerk. Every person disobeying any subpoena shall be adjudged as in contempt, and the boards may punish any contempt of their authority in like manner as contempt may be punished by any court, and the boards may, at any meeting held for the purpose of canvassing the voting lists, examine under oath the person whose right to vote is disputed or any other person, and may receive any other evidence that the boards may deem necessary respecting the right of any person to have his or her name upon the registry or to vote, and shall decide upon the right. No evidence elicited in the examination shall be used against the person so examined in any criminal prosecution against him or her, except a prosecution for perjury in the examination. Any person who shall willfully swear falsely in any proceeding, matter, or hearing before the boards or any of them shall be guilty of a felony.

History of Section.
P.L. 1896, ch. 363, § 4; C.P.A. 1905, § 1221; P.L. 1908, ch. 1608, § 9; G.L. 1909, ch. 8, §§ 32, 43; G.L. 1909, ch. 7, § 13; P.L. 1910, ch. 640, § 1; G.L. 1923, ch. 7, § 13; G.L. 1938, ch. 312, § 14; G.L. 1956, § 17-8-20; G.L. 1956, § 17-8-7; P.L. 1958, ch. 18, § 1; P.L. 1978, ch. 201, § 5.