FairVote RI August/September Update

Rhode Island

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Dear Friends—

In just days Rhode Island will hold its primary election. In just over two months the nation votes on a new president, and Rhode Island will select its General Assembly. This year all eyes are on elections--andFairVote RIis pushing for reform. Things are also changing around the office, with a new director and a newly constituted Board of Advisors. Read on to find out how you can get informed and take action.

1. 2008 FairVote RI Candidate Survey Online

2. FairVote RI Director Ari Savitzky Moves On, But Will Stay On

3. FairVote Continues to Push for Pre-Registration, NPV

4. Take Action!


1. 2008 FairVote RI Candidate Survey Online: After mailing questionnaires to every ballot-qualified candidate for General Assembly in Rhode Island, FairVote is making it official: our first-ever candidate survey is online and ready to go. Click hereto see how candidates in your district weighed in on questions ranging from the national popular vote for presidential elections to the single-party lever.

Don't forget: Rhode Island's primary election is September 9, and the general election is November 4. The registration deadline for the general election--which includes the presidential vote--is October 4.

2. FairVote RI Director Ari Savitzky Moves On, But Will Stay On: A hearty round of congratulations is in order for outgoing FairVote Rhode Island director Ari Savitzky, who is moving on to New York University School of Law. Savitzky, who can still be reached by emailing ari@fairvote.org, has been director of FairVote's Rhode Island chapter since August 2007.

Ari's replacement, new director Matt Sledge, had this to say about his tenure: "When you walk into the State House with Ari, everybody knows his name, and for good reason. He's smart, he's politically savvy, and above all he's passionately dedicated to electoral reform. Ari deserves a lot of credit for the impressive work he did, along with the other members of our coalitions, on both the national popular vote and youth voter pre-registration bills. I've heard some of the state's top politicians saying the same thing."

Even from afar, Savitzky will still be deeply involved in the operations of FairVote RI, as a member of FairVote Rhode Island's Board of Advisors. In one of his first official actions as Chairman of the Board, Ari and Senator Lincoln Chafee co-authored a Providence Journal editorial in favor of the national popular vote. Read it here.

Sledge, a graduate of Brown University who has trained to take the position since April, said he was excited to follow in Savitzky's footsteps. "We have big plans for FairVote Rhode Island this year--including a dramatic expansion of our youth education program, and key organizational development steps. None of them would be possible without Ari's leadership this past year."

3. FairVote Continues to Push for Pre-Registration, NPV:FairVote continues to push for both youth voter pre-registration and the national popular vote to directly elect the president. See the full range of legislative measures we support online here.

4. Take Action!The governor vetoed youth voter pre-registration and the national popular vote, but the fight is not over. A veto override session at the State House could be called any day--and when it happens, we'll need your help. Email sledge@fairvote.org to volunteer, or call 401.429.6059.


Thanks for taking the time to read the FairVote Rhode Island August/September Update. I'm happy to work with you for democracy reform in Rhode Island, especially in this exciting election year. With your help, we can make our state a better place to vote.

Matt Sledge
Director/FairVote RI