Candidates have had to get creative this pandemic year, gathering the required number of signatures to earn a place on the November ballot in a safe manner. For the East Greenwich Democratic Town Committee, that meant a drive-through event at the Westminster Unitarian Church parking lot Tuesday evening. Candidates for Town Council and School Committee, General

Sen. Bridget Valverde gets a signature from a constituent Tuesday, as Town Council candidate Mark Schwager and state Rep. Justine Caldwell wait their turn.

Assembly and even U.S. Sen. Jack Reed were on hand with their papers. As constituents drove in, one by one mask-clad candidates would approach the vehicle, offer a pen (to keep!) and clipboard with the paper to be signed. Afterward, the clipboard would be wiped down and made ready for the next constituent. Candidates must turn in the requisite number of signatures* (from registered voters in their district) by July 10.

A reminder: if you are a registered voter in the district or town of a particular candidate, you can sign their nomination papers, regardless of party affiliation. There is no limit to the number of candidates you can sign for and a signature does not mean you must vote for that candidate. It is merely to help the candidate earn a place on the ballot.

* Town Council, School Committee and state representative candidates need 50 signatures; state senators need 100 signatures; U.S. representatives need 500 signatures and U.S. senators need 1,000 signatures.