Rhode Island General Assembly sends Let RI Vote Act to McKee’s desk

Kentucky Primary
Voters fill out their ballots during in person voting in the Kentucky Primary at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, June 23, 2020. In an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, neighborhood precincts were closed and voters that didn't cast mail in ballots were directed to one central polling location. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Rhode Island legislature voted to send the Let RI Vote Act to Gov. Dan McKee’s desk.

The Senate and House passed their own versions of the bill last week. Tuesday’s vote was the Senate passed the House version and the House followed suit Wednesday.

“Over the past year, our Democracy has been tested and we must do everything to protect it. The #LetRIVote Act is a comprehensive set of tools that protect our voting rights,” said McKee.

The governor in a tweet last week wrote that he’s “ready to sign it.”

The bill aims to expand voter access while ensuring integrity in state elections.

“As we saw in 2020, early voting alternatives were used by a large portion of our population and the results of this change in voting patterns produced a smooth and secure election process that ensured that everyone’s vote was safely counted,” said bill sponsor Whip Katherine Kazarian (D-East Providence) last week.

Some aspects of the legislation include online mail ballot applications, no-excuse mail or emergency ballots, and drops a two witness or notarized signature requirement.

However, some have been outspoken against the bill, including the Rhode Island GOP.

“This bill opens the door to the continuation of third party ballot harvesting by political operations,” said RIGOP Chairwoman Sue Cienki last week.

“Additionally, it creates two separate systems of voting, with ID’s required for in-person and early voting, and no ID requirement on mail ballots and the acceptance of an ‘X’ as a legitimate signature,” the chairwoman added.


Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island