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September 19, 2007
Update: Cianci returns to City Hall / Photo
Journal photo / Mary Murphy
Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. arrives at Providence City Hall this morning to register to vote.
PROVIDENCE -- There were flashes of old times this morning at Providence City Hall as former Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr., walked into the Board of Canvassers office and registered to vote.
As the television cameras rolled, Cianci showed his driver’s license, swore he was a citizen of the U.S., and joined 76,000 other Providence residents as a legal voter in city in which he served about 20 years as mayor.
The move came on the eve of his first day back as a talk radio host. Cianci begins he stint as a talkmeister on WPRO-AM at 10 a.m. tomorrow.
Cianci was given a friendly welcome by several City Hall employees. He enrolled as an independent -- called an unaffiliated voter in Rhode Island political argot -- and said it was important to him to register because a talk show host who is going to criticize politicians ought to be registered.
Cianci was mayor until he was convicted in 2002 on a racketeering charge related to corruption in City Hall while he was mayor.
Cianci finished serving his prison term at Fort Dix, N.J., in May, then spent more time at a halfway house in Boston, followed by a stint in home confinement at a nephew's home in East Greenwich. His first full official day of freedom was Friday, July 27.
Cianci is still on probation but is allowed to vote because Rhode Island voters in a referendum last year approved a ballot question allowing felons to vote.
-- Journal staff writer Scott MacKay
Cianci may be the first high-profile citizen to take advantage of the change in state voting law narrowly approved by voters in a referendum last November.
Question 2 amended Section 1, Article II, of the state Constitution to return the right to vote to felons after they were discharged from prison.
They still are not allowed to vote while in prison.
He could also run for mayor again, if he so chose.
But because of his felony conviction, he could not do so until the 2014 election, when he would be 73.
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