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Lottery this afternoon to set placement for RI presidential ballot

March 7, 2012

Maybe bets should be placed on “rainbow sherbet” when Secretary of State Ralph Mollis holds a lottery at 5 pm today in the State Room of the Statehouse to choose ballot placement for Rhode Island’s April 24 presidential primary:

From the SoS’ office:

Mollis will use equipment borrowed from the R.I. Lottery to determine the order in which the candidates for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations will appear on the ballot in the state’s April 24 presidential primary.

Barack Obama will compete with “Uncommitted” for the top spot on the Democratic presidential primary ballot. Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum will compete with “Uncommitted” for first position on the Republican ballot.

In a scene familiar to Rhode Islanders who watch the state’s daily lottery numbers selected on television, every candidate will be assigned a numbered, specially calibrated, white plastic ball. A representative from the R.I. Lottery will operate the equipment. After each ball floats to the top of the machine’s shoot, Mollis will announce where the corresponding candidate’s name will appear on the ballot.

The Secretary of State’s office will also use the lottery machine to determine ballot position for the 119 Rhode Islanders who are running for the right to attend the Democratic or Republican National Convention as a delegate.

March 24 is the deadline to register to vote in order to cast a ballot in the presidential primary. April 3 is the deadline to apply for a mail ballot.

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