De Ramel to RI Election Board Heads: Resign Now

Guillaume de Ramel, candidate for Secretary of State in Rhode Island, whom we interviewed last week, has gotten some validation from the courts for his criticism of the state’s Board of Elections. From the de Ramel campaign press release:

Providence – Guillaume de Ramel, Democratic candidate for Secretary of State today called for the resignation of the leadership of the state Board of Elections. Citing gross incompetence, de Ramel believes Roger Begin, chairman; Thomas Iannitti, vice chairman and Robert Kando, executive director should all resign their positions immediately.

Yesterday, Superior Court Judge Stephen Fortunato heard testimony from lawyers representing the Board of Elections and the Rhode Island Republican Party regarding a complaint filed against the RI GOP for illegally airing campaign commercials on behalf of Donald Carcieri’s gubernatorial campaign in 2002.

Yesterday Judge Fortunato ruled that the board had no rules and that their procedures were unconstitutional. He issued an order halting the board’s languishing investigation of the RI GOP which has meandered aimlessly for over 3½ years. After almost four years, the merits of the case were never fully investigated or ruled on.

“At this point, it is clear that the board is completely incapable of executing and enforcing Rhode Island’s election laws, laws that set the rules of our campaigns and elections. Yesterday’s decision by Judge Fortunato showcases the mismanagement and incompetence the current leaders at the board offer Rhode Island,â€? said de Ramel. “The board is essentially responsible for protecting the integrity of our elections. The leaders of the board have done nothing to warrant the trust and confidence of their fellow Rhode Islanders. In short, the board desperately needs new leadership and new direction.”

From my observations, it seems there is bipartisan concern about the competency and effectiveness of the Rhode Island Board of Elections. Resignations at this point would be a surprise to me, honestly — they’ve already weathered so much scandal and rebuke. But perhaps this expression of “no confidence” from the courts will be the “tipping point.”

De Ramel’s emphatic voice on this issue says a great deal about his commitment to restoring public trust in the election process in Rhode Island.

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4 responses

  1. Congrats to deRamel for saying what many pols want to but are afraid. As deRamel has been saying the Board of Elections is broken and needs to be fixed. The ruling yesterday by the judge proves that point. The court says the BOE has no rules or regs that are worthy as well as didnt proceed with this case properly. Get rid of the leadership at the BOE they have had time to fix it but just continue to fight with each other.

  2. Wow, what to say? Good job, Mr deRamel. Yet another reason to take this man’s candidacy very seriously.

  3. Good call! Someone needed to say what we all know. I like this guys independence no strings attached here. That is what we need now more than ever. I heard Dan Yorke screaming about deRamel today. DeRamel and Yorke agree on this but Yorke needs to always yell about something. Yorke was yelling deRamel didn’t do that well on his show. Big deal it’s not how you say it it’s what you say and deRamel did the right thing. We need this board cleaned up and cleaned up quick. Keep the pressure on and good job!

  4. The more I read and hear about the Board of Elections this guy is so right. Yesterdays hearing was more of the same.

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