Town of Coventry, RI
Kent County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 2.01 Election laws.

[Amended 11-2-2010]
The provisions of the constitution and the general laws of the State of Rhode Island, now or hereafter in effect, pertaining to elections, special, general, and primary shall govern all town election, so far as they may be applicable. Whenever, in said election, laws and related matters, reference is made to any political party, or reference is made to voting machines as being prepared for voting purposes in accordance with political party designation, or any reference of whatever kind and designation is made in said election laws and related matters to any political party or political designation, for the purpose of this Charter only, each and every such reference to a political party shall be held to be eliminated from said election laws in accordance with the provisions of this Charter.

Section 2.02 Qualifications of elected officials.

All elected officials shall be qualified electors of the town.

Section 2.03 Elections; recall.

[Amended 11-7-1978; 11-4-1980]
(a) 
Time of general election. All elected officials of the town shall be elected at a general election held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in each even numbered year, commencing November 1974 in the manner provided by the election laws of the state.
(b) 
Recall. An elected official holding a town office, having been in office for at least six (6) months, may be removed from office by a recall petition prepared and approved by the voters of the town in the manner hereinafter provided for recall procedure.
[Amended 11-8-2016]
Upon application by a registered voter, the Town Clerk shall issue the recall petition blanks, which shall be dated, which shall demand the removal of the designated elected official, and which shall state the cause upon which the removal is sought. The petition is to be filed with the Town Clerk within thirty (30) days after issuance to be in order for the certification process.
The signatures to a recall petition need not all be appended to one paper but each signer shall add the signer's signature, as it appears on the Board of Canvassers and Registration's records, and the signer's place of residence, giving the street and number or other sufficient designation if there be no street and number. One of the signers shall take an oath before an officer competent to administer oaths that the statement therein made is true, as the signer believes, and that each signature to the paper appended is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be.
The recall petition, as it pertains to a town-wide office holder, shall be signed by at least twenty (20) percent of the registered voters of the town and, in addition, by at least twenty (20) percent of the registered voters in each Town Council district for certification purposes. In regard to a district office holder, the recall petition shall be signed by at least twenty (20) percent of the registered voters of said district for certification purposes.
The petition is to be submitted by the Town Clerk to the Board of Canvassers and Registration for certification forthwith. If the petition shall be found and certified by the Board of Canvassers and Registration to be sufficient, within ten (10) days the board shall submit the same with its certificate to the Town Council without delay; the Town Council shall order an election to be held on a Tuesday fixed by it not more than seventy-five (75) days after the date of the Board of Canvassers and Registration's certificate that a sufficient petition is filed. However, if any other town election is to occur within one hundred twenty (120) days after the date of the certificate, the Town Council shall postpone the holding of the recall election to the date of such other election.

Section 2.04 Special elections.

The Town Council shall provide by ordinance for the nomination and election of town officers, not otherwise provided for in this Charter or by state law, and for the holding of special town elections when required, according to law.

Section 2.05 Board of Canvassers and Registration.

[Amended 11-2-2010]
There shall be a bipartisan, canvassing authority elected by the Town Council as provided by the laws of the state. Said canvassing authority shall be known as the Board of Canvassers and Registration and shall be vested with all the powers and duties now or hereafter vested by law in such canvassing authority. All members of the Board of Canvassers and Registration now in office shall continue in said positions as members thereof until the expiration of the terms for which they were respectively chosen.
After each decennial census and prior to the next general election thereafter, the Board of Canvassers and Registration shall divide the town into five compact and contiguous districts of as nearly equal population as possible for the election of members of the Town Council pursuant to Section 3.01 and the School Committee pursuant to Section 4.01 of this Charter.

Section 2.06 Moderators and Clerks.

At least ten (10) days prior to every election, the Board of Canvassers and Registration shall appoint a moderator and a clerk for each polling place, one (1) of whom shall be a Democrat and one (1) a Republican, and who shall be party voters in the district for which they are appointed.

Section 2.07 Non-partisan Elections.

[Amended 11-2-2010]
All municipal elections in the Town of Coventry, whether primary, general, or special election, shall be non-partisan. There shall be no party mark or designation upon any declaration of candidacy, nomination, petition, or list of candidates.

Section 2.08 Ballot order.

[Amended 11-2-2010]
The position upon the ballot of the names of the candidates in any primary, general or special town election shall be determined by lot and said names shall be so placed upon said ballot under title of the office to be filled. Said determination of said position by lots shall be conducted by the Board of Canvassers and Registration, at which said candidates or their representatives shall be entitled to be present. Candidates shall be notified of the time and place of such drawing at least twenty-four hours in advance thereof.

Section 2.09 Primary Election; Town Council, School Committee.

[Amended 11-2-2010]
At any primary election the two Town Council candidates of each respective district receiving the highest number of votes shall be deemed and declared to be the candidates for the office of Town Council in their respective districts in the general town election. At any primary election the two School Committee candidates of each respective district receiving the highest number of votes shall be deemed and declared to be the candidates of the office of School Committee in their respective district in the general town election.