PROVIDENCE, R.I., — In an exclusive Raymond Baccari Political Profile, State Representative Gregg Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence) weighed in on a variety of topics, including his 2022 campaign for Secretary of State.
Amore is the first candidate to announce a 2022 campaign for Secretary of State. He had a couple of factors that influenced his decision to run for the office, saying, “I’ve been a civics and government [and] AP U.S History teacher for 26 years. I consider the Secretary of State’s office to be the civic engagement office for the state. My skill set as a civic and government teacher translates. But I’ve also been the chair of the Small Business Committee and the Secretary of State’s office deals with registration of businesses and makes that process as easy as can be for those wanting to start a business in Rhode Island.”
Amore continued, “I’ve also been a longtime member of the House Finance Committee which creates the state’s budget. And I think the combination of those three factors play into the skill set required for the office.”
Some of the key issues on his radar during this campaign are advocating for the passage of the Let Rhode Island Vote Act, promoting civic engagement and have voting be celebratory with the goal of treating it like a holiday and getting more people excited and inspired to vote.
Amore supports making mail-in voting more accessible to all Rhode Islanders, saying, “If we can use the technology that exists on signature verification, use the barcodes on both the envelopes and the ballot [and] match those up — I think we have a pretty safe mail ballot system that we can expand and use like we did in the last election.”
When it comes to redistricting, Amore supports a model similar to how it is done in the state of California to try and remove politics from the process.
“The California system is even more removed from the political process. It’s an application process, it’s a review process, there’s a board that exists that is [composed] of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Some board members are chosen by existing board members and it has a much more separated element to it. And I would be in favor of a system like that because I think it builds public confidence and that there isn’t gerrymandering going on.”
It was noted by Amore that going to a system like this would require the State Legislature to pass the bill and for the Governor to sign it into law.
When speaking about election-related issues, voter identification laws come up almost all the time, more so in recent years. Amore was initially against Rhode Island’s voter ID law citing most voter suppression efforts in history being cloaked in the idea of voter security. Since then, he changed his stance due to it not causing disenfranchisement to groups of voters in the state, the state offering the ability to cast a provisional ballot and obtaining a state ID is more accessible to residents.
“I have not seen evidence of a major issue of suppression with the Rhode Island voter ID law. Part of that is because we do have the provisional ballot aspect to it. I think we’re a small enough state where we can reach people with voter ID. We offer free state ID, [and] all those things have combined to create a system that I don’t believe has suppressed the vote or made it more difficult for folks to vote.”
Additionally, Amore spoke with Baccari about non-political topics such as what his favorite professional sports teams are and what he thinks Rhode Island is best known for.
To view the full interview, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMG_aOzkzsg.