Master lever bill approved by House panel - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Master lever bill approved by House panel

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By News Staff 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ The House Judiciary Committee has approved legislation that would eliminate the so-called master lever in Rhode Island.        

The committee heard testimony on the measure Tuesday, along with other election-related bills. Rhode Island is one of more than two dozen states that still give voters the option of voting for all the candidates of one party with a single mark on the ballot.
 Critics of straight-ticket voting say it's confusing and undemocratic and hurts candidates running in nonpartisan races.
About a quarter of Rhode Island voters in the November 2012 election used the master lever; three-fourths supported Democrats.
 A companion bill was heard on the Senate side earlier this month, but it was held for further study.
The full House will now vote on its own version. 
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