Political expert: Matos’ signature investigation ‘has potential to be substantial scandal’

JAMESTOWN, R.I. (WLNE) — While Jamestown police kickstart their investigation into reported discrepancies in Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos’ submitted signatures, one political expert said this situation “has the potential to be a substantial scandal.”

Associate professor of political science at Providence College, Adam Myers, has been following Matos and the race for Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District seat closely.

“Up until now, the race has been pretty sleepy,” said Myers. “The dynamics are starting to shift. I think this was kind of inevitable as we get closer and closer to September 5. I sort of expected criticisms against the presumed front runner.”

The Jamestown Board of Canvassers reportedly found inconsistencies with some of the names given to them last week by Matos’ campaign assistants. A meeting was held Monday by the board, and police began an investigation.

Ballots for former Congressman David Cicilline’s seat will be finalized Wednesday by the state. Each candidate must submit 500 signatures of supporting voters to boards across the state.

Members of Jamestown’s Board of Canvassers told ABC 6 News Tuesday they are concerned potential inconsistencies could be found in other communities.

“Apparently, the nomination papers that were turned into Jamestown last week for Matos included some fraudulent signatures, some people who are no longer alive, signatures of people who say they never signed those papers,” said Myers.

Myers added that he still believes Matos is a frontrunner, but this could test her campaign.

He finished, “Her campaign is suffering this week, and it remains to be seen whether she can bounce back.”

Matos and her team called the reports Monday “surprising and concerning,” saying they hold themselves to the highest ethical standards.

ABC 6 reached out to Matos’ team for comment Tuesday but did not hear back.

Jamestown police said they will have more information in the near future.

Categories: News, Rhode Island