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General Assembly Reapportionment (and Redistricting) Commission records

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 2002-54-C#01858


The Rhode Island General Assembly Reapportionment and Redistricting records consist of the records of the General Assembly’s Reapportionment Commission (2001) including official maps, transcripts, videocassettes of Commission proceedings and the records of Elmer E. Cornwall (House Parliamentarian (1977-2002) and was the House of Representatives' chief expert on Constitutional Conventions; Reapportionment and Municipal Home Rule Charters.


  • 1883-2002
  • Majority of material found within 1990-2002


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

No special restrictions unless otherwise specified.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.

Biographical / Historical

Following each decennial Census of the United States, Rhode Island, like most states, must redraw existing congressional and state legislative districts based on the principal of one-person, one-vote.
While the ultimate responsibility for the redrawing process lies with the Rhode Island Legislature, this decade, like in 1990, the Legislature has established a Special Commission on Reapportionment. The Commission recommended plans for congressional, senatorial and representative districts for enactment by the 2002 Rhode Island General Assembly.
Articles VII and VIII of the Constitution of Rhode Island require representative and senatorial districts to be “as nearly equal in population…as possible.” Article 1 of the United States Constitution requires that the House of Representatives be apportioned among the states “according to their respective numbers.” Periodic redistricting is necessary to equalize district populations that change over time due to population shifts. The decennial census provides the demographic data needed to equalize district populations.
In 2002 another redistricting requirement was implemented. This requirement, a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1994, reduces the number of representative and senatorial districts. The amendment provided for the House of Representatives to be reduced from 100 to 75 members, and the Senate to be reduced from 50 to 38 members, commencing in 2003. Representative and senatorial districts drawn after the 2000 census will be for the 2002 elections for members of the General Assembly to be seated in 2003.
The Special Commission on Reapportionment had sixteen members. The commission included three representatives and three public members appointed by the Speaker of the House, two representatives appointed by the House Minority Leader, three senators and three public members appointed by the Senate Majority Leader, and two senators appointed by the Senate Minority Leader. Members of the Special Commission on Reapportionment were:
Rep. Denise C. Aiken of Warwick (Dist. 35-Dem.)
Chair Sen. Joseph A. Montalbano of North Providence (Dist. 37-Dem.)
Vice Chair Rep. Joseph S. Almeida of Providence (Dist. 20-Dem.)
Rep. Richard E. Fleury of West Warwick (Dist. 40-Rep.)
Rep. Scott P. Rabideau of Burrillville (Dist. 60-Rep.)
Rep. William SanBento, Jr. of Pawtucket (Dist. 75-Dem.)
Sen. David E. Bates of East Providence (Dist. 44-Rep.)
Sen. Leo R. Blais of Coventry (Dist. 21-Rep.)
Sen. John A. Celona of North Providence (Dist. 36-Dem.)
Sen. Catherine E. Graziano of Providence (Dist. 5-Dem.)
Alma Felix Green of Providence (Public member)
Fred Hashaway, Jr. of Pawtucket (Public member)
Anthony Marcella, III, of Providence (Public member)
Louise C. Murillo of North Providence (Public member)
Yahaira Placencia of Providence (Public member)
William Tammeleo of Jamestown (Public member)


17.7 Cubic Feet

Rhode Island Digital Archives

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Rhode Island Reapportionment Commission on November 14, 2002.


There were three accruals to these records. Accession: 2006-05; Accession: 2008-43; and Accession: 2010-16. No further accruals are anticipated at this time.
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Repository Details

Part of the Rhode Island State Archives Repository

33 Broad Street
Providence RI 02903 USA