In most election years, with a week to the deadline for declaring candidacies, there would be a flurry of activities, rumors flowing, and considerable speculation about who is or who is not planning on running for office.
But this is not a typical year. It is one that has challenged leaders as local communities, states and the federal government try to come to grips with a pandemic that has killed more than 113,000 Americans, and mainly peaceful protests demanding racial reform in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
So, the countdown begins, with sporadic announcements. Those wishing to run for General Assembly or local offices must file with the local board of canvassers in the town in which they are registered to vote between June 22 and June 24.
Those declaring to run for U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives must file with the Department of State’s Elections Division, 148 West River St., Providence.
Party endorsements are due by June 26 for U.S. Senate and U.S. House, and June 25 for all local and General Assembly races.
The next major step for candidate is picking up nomination papers from local canvassers on June 30 and returning them with the required number of signatures by July 10.
For local offices, the number of signatures is set by the Canvassing Authorities and may vary by community.
For General Assembly seats, Senatorial candidates must collect 100 signatures, House of Representative candidates, 50. For U.S. Senate the minimum is 1,000 and U.S. Representatives, 500.
The deadline for individuals to withdraw their candidacies is July 13, otherwise their name appears on the ballot, even if they decide not to run.
All this leads to the primary election on Sept. 8, and the general election on Nov. 3. The deadline to register to vote for the primary is August 9, for the general election, Oct. 4.