Rhode Island May Go to Early Voting - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather


Rhode Island May Go to Early Voting

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by ABC 6 Political Reporter Mark Curtis 


They were recounting final ballots in some Rhode Island races Friday morning, which is why some would like to see the state go to early voting in the next election cycle.

The long lines at some polling places are also being cited as a reason to let people cast ballots earlier.

Providence City Councilor Terry Hassett says it's time to change.

Hassett said, "And not old–time, ‘standing in-line forever' to vote. I think we have to do it earlier. That could mean a half–day before the election. Open up the window so it's easier for people to vote."

31 states plus the District of Columbia allow some form of early voting.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "Right now the only way to early vote in Rhode Island is by absentee ballot. But this new proposal would allow people to cast their ballots, perhaps a day or two, or more, before Election Day."

"I disagree strongly," said State Republican Chairman Mark Zaccaria. He also says early voting will mean hiring more election works, and it creates opportunity for fraud.

Zaccaria said, "I think it's going to be very expensive. Because it's more expensive, to a have a drip, drip, drip process of voting. There are security issues with what happens with those ballots and when do you count them?"

Other states that have early voting, such as Florida and Ohio, still had long lines on Election Day.

The Rhode Island General Assembly will take up the early voting bill, when it convenes in January.



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