In Rhode Island, under our current primary system, there’s a lack of voter participation – and a lack of genuine competition. Today, Rhode Island’s system:
- Produces “winners’ who get less than a majority, sometimes under 40% of the vote – or even less;
- Allows a tiny percentage of voters to select the candidates for the general election in November;
- Tends to produce uncompetitive general elections in November.
The People’s Primary initiative is a grass roots effort to change all that – and to reform the election process so our elected officials are more responsive to the will of the voters.
After all, that’s what democracy is all about.
Our plan is to listen to the community, then identify reforms that encourage voter participation in primary elections and make elections more competitive overall.
We have a lot of work to do.
- Only 13% of registered voters showed up to vote in the September 2020 primary, even though it was a presidential election year.
- A majority (53%) of General Assembly incumbents faced no opponents.
- Meanwhile, another 14% of Assembly races were virtually uncontested, with margins of victory over 30%.