A guide to voting at Brown

Tryna have your voice heard in the Rhode Island elections this year, but are far too lazy to seek out any of the information needed to do so? Look no further. Here are a few things you might want to know about voting in Rhode Island this fall.

1. Rhode Island Primary Elections are this Tuesday, September 9th. That means that if you were eligible to vote in Rhode Island on or before August 9th, 2014, and are registered as either a Republican or Democrat, you are able to vote in the primary. If you are not registered as a member of either party, but are still registered to vote in Rhode Island, you are able to show up to your voting station and affiliate yourself with either party, and you will able to vote (Beware: you will then be affiliated with whatever party you choose on primary day).


I'm Turbo and I ruv Democracy! RUFF!

I’m Turbo and I ruv Democracy! RUFF!

2. Voter Registration. Thanks to UCS, we now have access to TurboVote, an awesome online App that hooks you up with all of the info that you’ll need to register in Rhode Island or to request an absentee ballot if you’re registered to vote elsewhere. To vote in Rhode Island on Election Day this year, you’ll have to register on TurboVote by October 5th. If you already are registered to vote in Rhode Island, or in any other state,  you can also sign up to use TurboVote and receive text message and email reminders to vote from the state in which you are registered. TurboVote will also send you reminders about absentee ballot deadlines for your voting state. Also, that puppy though.

3. Voting Locations. If your registered address is 69 Brown Street, you can vote at Salomon Hall on September 9th and November 4th. If you’re registered at an off-campus address, or accidentally put your address down elsewhere in Rhode Island, check here to see where you should go and vote.

Happy voting, ya’ll!

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R.I. Gov. Chafee will not seek reelection

Yesterday Rhode Island residents received a shock when—in a hastily convened press conference outside of the Cranston branch of the R.I. Department of Motor Vehicles—Gov. Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14 P’17 announced that he would not be seeking reelection next year.

The announcement sent shock waves through the state’s political world and will almost certainly jump-start what was already expected to be a heated 2014 gubernatorial race.

During the press conference Chafee explained his rationale for opting out after his one term expires in January, 2015: “The challenges we have in this state are very significant and I want to put all my energy and time into addressing those challenges,” Chafee told reporters at the press conference. Here’s a video of the announcement.

Part of what made the announcement so surprising was Chafee’s other big decision this year — that he would be switching his party affiliation from Independent to Democrat. Most observers interpreted the switch as an indication he was gearing up to seek reelection. Continue Reading

RI gay marriage watch: Is 2013 the year?

StatehouseAs we enter the new year (and, in turn, the 2013 legislative session), many now speculate that the Democratic leadership in the Rhode Island State Legislature will pass a new bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Rhode Island is the only state in New England that does not allow same-sex couples to marry. State House Speaker Gordon Fox, the sponsor of the bill, said it would be debated on the House floor by the end of the month. The bill is likely to pass the House, but the outcome of the vote in the Senate is still uncertain. Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed is against gay marriage.

The majority of voters in RI support allowing same sex marriage, but the proposed bill is not without its opponents. Bishop Thomas Tobin, a powerful local figure (Rhode Island is the most Catholic state in the country), called the measure “immoral and unnecessary.” Governor Lincoln Chafee ’75 P’14, who passed a law allowing for civil unions between same-sex couples two years ago, has said he is “eager” to sign the bill if it arrives at his desk.

Brown, of course, has had its own run-in with some anti-gay Crusaders in recent years (check this out if you’re a freshman or sophomore), and it’s safe to assume students still “love gays.” We were indeed ranked 4th most LGBT-friendly college last year.

The RI House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the bill today. Keep checking back here for more updates about the bill’s progress.