The COVID-19 pandemic created a need for emergency voting and electoral measures which balanced public health and simultaneously ensured that voters and candidates are not disenfranchised. Although H 7901 Sub A attempted to do this by halving the ballot signature count which is required to run for federal office, this legislation did not adequately address the core concerns which this bill was created in response to.

In our testimony, we noted that solely reducing the signature count -- and doing so for only two federal offices, and no state or local elections  -- does not minimize the risk that is taken by collecting signatures, as collection of any physical signature violated social distancing protocol and placed individuals at risk of contracting the virus. We instead suggested that Rhode Island follow in the path of other states and enact a one-year-only modification which both reduces the signature requirement number and, critically, allows for electronic collection of signatures.


Representative Jose Serodio





Bill number


Needs amendments