TOM WARD - San Bento's ham-handed bills grant Tobon 'martyr' status

TOM WARD - San Bento's ham-handed bills grant Tobon 'martyr' status

I can't think of a better way for state Rep. William San Bento of Pawtucket to assure himself of losing his next re-election bid in 2014. That is, if people are paying attention.

If you recall, last fall, San Bento won his re-election over his hard-working Democratic primary challenger Carlos Tobon by just one vote, after Tobon appeared to have won on election night. There were four recounts, and four different outcomes. On the fourth, the state Board of Elections gave San Bento a one-vote win and called it a day.

Now, San Bento has filed legislation that calls for restrictions on mail ballot recounts. The package was submitted by Board of Elections Director Robert Kando without the approval of board members, as reported by The Providence Journal. ACLU Executive Director Steven Brown calls the bills "appalling."