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Letter Urging Secretary Gorbea to Send Mail Ballot Applications for the September Primary


July 16, 2020

The Honorable Nellie M. Gorbea
Rhode Island Secretary of State
State House
82 Smith Street
Providence, RI 02906

Dear Secretary Gorbea:

Thank you for working with our groups to produce the Safe and Healthy Voting in 2020 Act. While we were disappointed the bill was ultimately not introduced, we are happy to see that many of the concepts in that legislation have been incorporated into H 8102 Substitute A/S 2598 Substitute A and H 7200 Substitute A. However, we cannot count on the General Assembly to do the right thing in a timely manner. That is why we are asking you to immediately send mail ballot applications to eligible Rhode Island voters for the September 8, 2020 primary election.

We know you support H 7200 Substitute A which would require that you send mail ballot applications to eligible voters for the September and November elections. We also know that time is running short to make that decision. That is why we urge you not to wait for the legislature to act and send the applications for the September primary as soon as possible.

As recently reported by the ​Washington Post,​ Ohio officials say that the state’s decision to send postcards to voters, instead of mail ballot applications, proved to be a mistake. Let’s learn from their experience and do the right thing for voters by sending mail ballot applications. Voters for the September primary should be treated the same as they were for the June primary and as they will be for the November general election.

Thank you for listening to our concerns.


ACLU of Rhode Island, Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education, Clean Water Action Rhode Island, Common Cause Rhode Island, Latino Policy Institute, League of Women Voters of Rhode Island, NAACP Providence Branch, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence, Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights, Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus, Rhode Island Latino PAC, Rhode Island Working Families Party, Sunrise Providence, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, The Womxn Project.

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