Republicans and Democrats already have their presidential nominees secured with former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, respectively, but there will still be a presidential primary election in Rhode Island on April 2.

So why is Rhode Island still having its primary?

“The Presidential Preference Primary is required under State law (RIGL § 17-12.1-8). Voting has already begun,” according to the secretary of state’s office.

Additionally, you may see candidates on your Rhode Island Primary ballot for candidates that have already dropped out of the race. Why?

All candidates who qualified for the ballot and did not formally pull out by Rhode Island’s Jan. 30, 2024, withdrawal deadline are on the ballot.

“They may still receive votes and be awarded delegates in accordance with their party’s delegate selection plan,” according to the secretary of state’s office. (In Rhode Island, Republican delegates are apportioned among candidates who get at least 10% of the vote.)

For 86-year-old Ukrainian immigrant, voting is worth hard work and a long walk

Roma Hayda at polling station in Vartan Gregorian Elementary School, Providence. “I tried to look up my polling place this morning but it was not a very satisfactory experience for me. It was very hard to find. “

Roma Hayda at polling station in Vartan Gregorian Elementary School, Providence. “I tried to look up my polling place this morning but it was not a very satisfactory experience for me. It was very hard to find. “

Roma Hayda, 86, walked a mile to the polling place and paused to take a break in the hallway of the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School gym, sitting with her back to a wide window overlooking a courtyard.

For Hayda, just figuring where she was supposed to go was a hassle, after two sites in the Fox Point area combined into a third, new location, an elementary school gym. She first went to her normal polling site only to find it closed.

“It was very hard to find,” she said. Hayda said she would never miss an election, even if it meant more walking. “It’s extremely important,” Hayda said.

She said she is very worried about voters getting sucked into a cult of personality and the trend for feelings to override the issues at hand.

She said she was also worried about the dire consequences for her native Ukraine, fending off an invasion from Russia.

“For Putin to win this war, it will cost the US, the free world, for more than all the aid they’ve sent so far,” she said.Hayda said she was also disappointed there wasn’t more in-depth information on the delegates.

Voters at polling station in Vartan Gregorian Elementary School , Providence.Voters at polling station in Vartan Gregorian Elementary School , Providence.

Voters at polling station in Vartan Gregorian Elementary School , Providence.

Sitting on the outcropping, Hayda recalled growing up in Nazi, and then Soviet-controlled Ukraine. Her family left in 1944 for Austria before eventually making it to the United States.

The Vartan Gregorian Elementary School was one of the busier precincts, seeing many prominent Providence politicians voting, including Mayor Brett Smiley who is also a delegate candidate. By 1 p.m., 148 votes had been cast.

When they opened at 7 a.m., there was a three-person line, Poll Warden Kimberly Allen said.

She attributed the brisk turnout to the voter base in the area and the polling place consolidation, and expected lines to form once people started getting off work at 5 p.m.

Southern border shapes voter’s opinions

At Lincoln Middle School, Henry Pristiawa, 79, leaned on his cane as he approached the voting place, determined to do his duty and vote: “You have to,” he said. “You don’t want to lose that right. You don’t want to have a tyrannical government.”

“I’m almost 80 years old and I’ve seen the world but I’m worried about the next generation. The burden is so great on them. We’ve got a [national] debt of what, $34 trillion? Who’s going to pay that off? It’s not going to me.”

East providence polling station in Riverside had only 8 voters this morning.East providence polling station in Riverside had only 8 voters this morning.

East providence polling station in Riverside had only 8 voters this morning.

Beside him stood his wife Karen Pristiawa and together they were standing strong for Donald Trump, they said.

“I like his policies, I like what he does,” she said. “The leaders of other countries respected him and he didn’t allow in illegals.” What’s happening along the southern border, she said, “makes me so upset.”

– Tom Mooney, staff writer

Portsmouth pilots new paper ballots for the state

Although turnout was also slow in Portsmouth, the town usually has a higher-than-average voter turnout for elections. By noon on Tuesday, the town outpaced its more populated Aquidneck Island neighbors by number of voters alone with 589 total votes cast versus 531 and 398 for Newport and Middletown, respectively. Portsmouth High School polling location moderator Heather Sullivan said this may be why the town was chosen as the sole municipality to pilot a new paper ballot system that could help speed up the counting process for poll workers on Election Day.

“We really pride ourselves in Portsmouth where we’re picked to be a lot of the pilot programs because we have such a good showing not only from our voters but from our volunteers who come in and our greeters,” Sullivan said.

Each ballot is numbered, allowing the poll workers to more easily identify the number of votes cast. The new paper ballots come in a pad of paper, similar to a legal pad or traditional checkbook, from which the perforated ballots can be removed and given to the voter.

Sullivan, who is tasked with helping to fill out a report on the system and delivering it to the state Board of Elections by the end of the night, said the system has so far been very helpful.

“So far, I really like it, the supervisors seem to enjoy it, it seems like it’s a little easier for them,” Sullivan said. “When you think about it, when you look back historically, it’s always raining on Election Day, primary elections, so it gets really humid, especially in this gym. We were having problems where the ballots were sticking together, so this makes it so much easier.”

– Savana Dunning, staff writer

RI voters worried about a divided nation

William and Sandra Amoto, married 60 years, came out to vote in the primary. The Smithfield couple are worried about the nation, divided.

“We are so divided,” said Sandra, who for most of her life voted for Democrats. “I won’t again. We’re already at civil war.”

Her husband’s sentiments were equally clear: “The last three years have changed our country. That’s what happens when you let in 10 million illegal immigrants, and you don’t know anything about them.”

Crime in the cities. An open border. A do-noting Congress. These are the issues that brought them to the polls Tuesday, whether their votes are merely symbolic.

“We have ten grandchildren,” said William. “We’re worried.”

– Tom Mooney, staff writer

‘It’s going to be a low turnout’ says Smithfield Board of Canvassers chair

Voters at polling station in Vartan Gregorian Elementary School , Providence.Voters at polling station in Vartan Gregorian Elementary School , Providence.

Voters at polling station in Vartan Gregorian Elementary School , Providence.

Outside the Old County Road Elementary School in Smithfield, not one Trump campaign sign, nor one Biden placard greeted the few lunchtime voters trickling in to cast ballots. The only hint of an election in progress was the lone campaign sign for Susan Grenon, running as a delegate.

The dearth of visible political enthusiasm didn’t surprise Pasquale Matteo, chairman of the town’s Board of Canvassers.

The question of candidates “has been pretty much decided,” he said. ”It’s going to be a low turnout.”

Matteo said he expected only a few hundred of the town’s 15,688 registered voters to participate in the primary.

“If we get 400, that would be great.”

– Tom Mooney, staff writer

I voted for a candidate that dropped out, what happened to my ballot?

Voters’ ballots will still count despite voting for a candidate who dropped out.

For example, Nikki Haley suspended her Republican presidential campaign after only winning Vermont, which led to her securing 89 delegates, according to the Associated Press. Republican Party rules allow states to award all of their delegates to the candidate with the most votes, CBS News reported.

“It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him. And I hope he does that,” Haley said Wednesday. “At its best, politics is about bringing people into your cause, not turning them away. And our conservative cause badly needs more people.”

Josh Putnam, a political scientist specializing in delegate rules, told CBS News that delegates in “the vast majority of cases are locked in” to a candidate heading toward the Republican National Convention.

Morning is slow, but rush expected to come by 5 p.m.

At the Dominica Manor public housing high rise on Atwells Avenue, the biggest excitement by 11 a.m. was one of the delegates on the ballot who came to vote, including for themselves, pointing out their name on the ballot to poll workers.

“It’s been pretty low turnout,” poll worker Brigid Wallace said. “It’s been quiet.”

At 11 a.m., 36 people had cast ballots.

For seasoned poll worker Don Porraro, it was exactly what he expected, for the morning.

“After 1, it builds up and by 5, there’s a big rush,” he said.

– Wheeler Cowperthwaite, staff writer

Voting not like it was decades ago, when elections meant waiting in line

At the Sts. Sahag & Mesrob Armenian Church in Providence, voters were trickling in. By 10:10 a.m. there were 15 votes cast and by 10:40, another two people had voted.

The first two voters came in right at 7 a.m., when the polls opened. Workers said they were still putting up signs when an elderly couple came in to vote.

Poll workers said it was about the same activity level as the last special election.

People start coming in around 4 or 5,” poll worker Sandy Chase said. “But it gets slow.”

Poll workers said voting was not like it was decades ago, when elections meant waiting in line.

Among the political celebrities sited at the church was former Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, who served from 2007 to 2015.

– Wheeler Cowperthwaite, staff writer

‘Our least attended election’

In the northwestern corner of the state, Burrillville Town Clerk Vicki Martin was keeping track on early voting numbers.

As of 10:30 a.m., she said 86 of the town’s 11,429 active voters had cast ballots at the three open polling places.

The primary will likely be “our least attended election,” she said, considering the result “is already decided.”

– Tom Mooney, staff writer

First-time voter gets a round of applause

Evelin Reyes of Middletown checks in at Gaudet Middle School to vote for the first time.Evelin Reyes of Middletown checks in at Gaudet Middle School to vote for the first time.

Evelin Reyes of Middletown checks in at Gaudet Middle School to vote for the first time.

By 9:25 Tuesday morning just 22 people cast ballots at the three precincts voting at Middletown’s Gaudet Middle School but among them was first-time voter Evelin Reyes who just became a U.S. citizen in September.

Reyes’ was accompanied by a friend who let the room know it was her first time voting, leading to a round of applause from the dozen poll workers.

“I think one of the most important things you can do is vote in an election,” Reyes said. “And my friend encouraged me a lot.”

Reyes declined to say who she voted for.

– With reports from Will Richmond, Journal Editor

More: Presidential nominees all but decided before RI’s primary, but these voters still excited

Vote count in the single digits at Providence’s South Side Cultural Center

At the South Side Cultural Center in Providence, by 9:40 a.m., the total vote count was four.

Moderator Joseph Rose Jr., who was also the early voting moderator for city hall, said to check back in the afternoon, as too early in the morning was not indicative of turnout.

“This is low,” he said.

– With reports from Wheeler Cowperthwaite, Journal Staff writer

Voting gets underway in Rhode Island’s presidential primary … slowly

At the Asa Messer Elementary School in Providence’s West End, an hour and 20 minutes after the polls first opened, six people had voted.

“It’s slow but steady,” poll worker Jon Lax said.

He said he was not surprised by the light turnout because the only things on the ballot were the presidential primary and delegates.

Cool temperatures and gray skies likely tamped down some enthusiasm for people to go to the polls.

“People will turn out,” he said. “This is one where committed voters come out.

– With reports from Wheeler Cowperthwaite, Journal Staff writer

Who is on Rhode Island’s April 2 presidential primary ballot?

The presidential candidates who garnered enough signatures to qualify for the Rhode Island ballot include:

Democrats:

Republicans:

  • Donald Trump

  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

  • Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

  • Entrepreneur Vivek G. Ramaswamy.

More: Yes, there’s still a presidential primary in RI. Here’s everything voters should know.

Why are candidates who dropped out still on the ballot?

All candidates who qualified for the ballot and did not formally pull out by Rhode Island’s Jan. 30, 2024, withdrawal deadline are on the ballot.

“They may still receive votes and be awarded delegates in accordance with their party’s delegate selection plan,” according to the secretary of state’s office. (In Rhode Island, Republican delegates are apportioned among candidates who get at least 10% of the vote.)

What’s the weather forecast?

Voters might want to get to the polls early to avoid the rain that’s expected to move in this afternoon.

Otherwise, expect mostly cloudy skies with a high temperature in the upper 40s to low 50s. The wind will blow from the northeast at 5 to 10 mph.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: RI Primary Election 2024: Live coverage of the presidential primary

Share.
2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.