About Secretary Of State Gregg M. Amore
Secretary of State Gregg Amore is a Townie, and a Rhode Islander, through and through. He is a proud lifelong resident of East Providence where he has been a teacher, coach, and community volunteer for over thirty years. He married his high school sweetheart Lee (Smith) and together they have two (now adult) daughters, Tess and Megan. Born on October 28, 1966, Amore graduated from East Providence High School in 1984 before continuing his education at Providence College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1988. In 2010, he earned a master’s degree in public policy from New England College.
Gregg taught Advanced Placement United States History and United States Civics and Government courses at East Providence High School for twenty-seven years, and in 2008 was recognized as the Rhode Island History Teacher of the Year by the Daughters of the American Revolution. He served as East Providence High School’s Close-Up and United States Senate Youth Program advisor for fifteen years. He was instrumental in the process to build and finance the new East Providence High School, which opened its doors in September of 2021.
In 2017, Gregg took over as the East Providence School District Athletic Administrator and is credited with significantly expanding East Providence’s Unified Sports/Special Olympics programs during his tenure. Gregg has enjoyed a rewarding high school and college coaching career in both hockey and baseball, including serving as head baseball coach at La Salle Academy, East Providence High School, and the United States Naval Academy Prep School in Newport. He led the Townies to a hockey championship in 2005 and was an assistant baseball coach at Providence College where he also played as a member of the Friars team in the 1980s.
Committed to public service, Gregg ran for State Representative in 2012 and served the residents of East Providence with distinction for ten years. During his time in office, he served as a Deputy Majority Leader, chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, chairman of the House Finance Subcommittee on Education, and second vice chair of the House Committee on Education. He has also served as a member of the House Committee on Finance, House Committee on Municipal Government, and the House Committee on Innovation, Internet and Technology. He is widely credited with advancing the House of Representatives’ education agenda, which has included key education reform legislation related to curriculum and site based management. He has championed efforts to significantly increase English Language Learner categorical funding, school construction initiatives, the retention and recruitment of teachers of color, and making college more affordable for Rhode Islanders. In 2021, he was honored by the Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Association with the Paul Crowley Award for his commitment to public education.
In 2021, Representative Amore cosponsored the law which requires students to demonstrate proficiency in civics education before high school graduation, earning him recognition from the League of Women Voters, who awarded him their Civic Engagement Award. In 2021 and 2022, Gregg called for the passage of and cosponsored the Let RI Vote Act – a bill (became law in 2022) that significantly expanded access to the ballot. Additionally, Gregg has been twice selected as the Mothers Against Drunk Driving – RI Legislator of the Year for his legislative efforts around curbing drunk driving. Representative Amore earned a place in the American Cancer Society’s “Cancer Caucus” for his sponsorship and advocacy on behalf of legislation passed in 2013 that required health insurance providers to cover oral chemotherapy. In 2022, Representative Amore was the recipient of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence Legislative Champion Award for his sponsorship of an expansive address confidentiality law that will be administered through the Rhode Island Department of State.
Gregg announced his campaign to run for Secretary of State in September of 2021. He went on to win election in November of 2022. He was sworn into office on January 3, 2023 as the thirtieth Rhode Island Secretary of State.
Duties of the Secretary of State
The Secretary of State is the state’s third ranking elected official, following the Governor and Lt. Governor. State law gives the Secretary of State many different duties. As Rhode Island’s chief elections officer, the Secretary of State registers voters, prepares ballots, and administers oaths of office. The Secretary of State also works with companies registered to do business in Rhode Island – more than 70,000 in all. State laws and other official acts, such as issuing bonds, must be signed by the Secretary of State in order to make them official. The Secretary of State is also charged with regulating lobbying activity in the Executive and Legislative branches of state government. In addition, the Secretary of State also processes, preserves and gives the public access to hundreds of thousands of historic documents and public records.
The Office of the Secretary of State existed before Rhode Island became a state. The first office-holder, William Aspinwall, served from 1637-38, just one year after the colony was founded. Over the years, the title changed General Recorder to Secretary of the Colony until it finally become Secretary of State in 1776. The term of office changed over the years, too. The Secretary of State served just one year at a time from 1637 until 1912, when a Constitutional amendment set the term at two years. In 1994, another Constitutional amendment changed the term to four years. Until 1663, the Secretary of State was appointed by the legislature, but now is elected by popular vote. The Secretary of State may serve only two consecutive terms before having to leave office for at least one term. If the Office of Secretary of State becomes vacant, the General Assembly appoints a replacement to serve for the remainder of the term. In order to serve as Secretary of State, you must be at least 18 years old, a registered voter, a resident of Rhode Island for at least 30 days and a U.S. citizen.