Automatic voter registration passes in Rhode Island

By: News Staff


Twitter: @ABC6

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Governor Gina Raimondo signed a bill on automatic voter registration into law Tuesday, making Rhode Island the ninth state to move forward with this kind of reform.

This law will allow eligible citizens to automatically register to vote when they interact with a state agency. Implementation will begin with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and may eventually expand to other agencies under the Federal Motor Voter Law.

A press release from the governor’s office said the bill passed with "strong bipartisan support" in the Rhode Island General Assembly. The law is intended to make registering to vote more accessible to all citizens, as well as maintain updated addresses for already registered citizens. 

Advocates of the automatic voter legislation see this move as a "positive step" toward protecting voter rights and safeguarding state elections, according to the press release.

“Governor Raimondo delivered a big win for voting rights by signing automatic voter registration into law,” said James Vincent, president of the Providence Branch of the NAACP. “I am proud to see that Rhode Island is leading the way in protecting access to the ballot.”

Other states with automatic voter registration include Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia.

©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017