Flash! The Rhode Island Board of Elections met again today, for the 3rd time … this time in open session … to announce that they would investigate the signatures gathered in the voter nomination process for the Democratic Primary to replace retired Congressman David Cicilline. In a 5-2 vote, BOE members will call in “seasonal” election worker to review each of the signatures submitted and approved by local community officials. Discussions also centered around the possible subpoena of Matos campaign vendors/employees for sworn testimony at the BOE. Despite interest by BOE members, a motion to take that step was not seconded.

Statement from Don Carlson Regarding Board of Elections’ Decision to Investigate Fraudulent Signatures Submitted by Matos Campaign 


Jamestown, RI – “Kudos to the Board of Elections for responding to the will of the people by using its plenary authority to launch a full investigative review of the signatures submitted by the Matos campaign. When my campaign set this process in motion with our original challenge, this outcome was exactly the remedy we requested.

  The BOE debated the issue in full public view today – wisely mindful of Justice Brandeis’ admonition that ‘sunshine is the best of disinfectants.’ The secret backroom meetings advocated by BOE’s legal counsel did serious damage to the public’s confidence in our elections. At a time when our democratic process is under regular attack by a former President and his minions, it is critical not to take shortcuts. The public’s business should be done in public.

  Members correctly noted that the Attorney General’s criminal investigation will be limited to crimes committed by specific individuals and likely will be completed long after the election is over. Restoring the public’s trust in the electoral process requires prompt and decisive action by the BOE on the issues relating to the election itself.

  I applaud the Board of Election’s courageous decision to fulfill the mission emblazoned over their heads in the hearing room “to protect the integrity of the electoral process.”


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