It’s Time to Demand an Investigation of RI Voter Registration Process

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In Rhode Island, it appears that the BOE and the Secretary of State’s office, over the years, have purposely left the door open for individuals to register to vote, and cast a vote, without ever providing personally identifying information as required by state and federal law. As I previously commented, the magnitude of these findings potentially shake the very foundation of our state’s democracy … and must be officially investigated. In RI, is it possible to apply, be registered, and vote without ever providing legally required personally identifying information? You need to take action now and demand an investigation.

There are very serious concerns being raised about irregularities in Rhode Island’s voter registration system. The Ocean State Current has published an analysis of a 2008 BOE rules change that removed an important section on the state’s application form for voter registration. Prior to 2008 and after new federal law in 2003, an applicant had to check a box … stating that no drivers license or social security number had (ever) been issued to the person by the state or federal government … as reason to accept alternative (less conclusive) identification credentials. Since 2008 this section and checkbox no longer appears on the form (lessening legal risk to disingenuous applicants?)

Ken Block has also published new research about another questionable BOE rules change in 2012. This promulgated rule effectively exempts anyone who votes via mail ballot or via emergency voting from state voter ID requirements. According to Block, over 40,000 such votes were cast in 2016 by voters who have been improperly exempted from providing voter identification as required by Rhode Island’s voter ID law, RI General Law 17-19-24.2. This improper exemption may have also led to violations of federal voting law, specifically the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which requires that voters who do not supply personally identifying information when they register, must submit that information the first time that they vote.
Claims that the State of Rhode Island is violating federal elections law, specifically the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), must be formally investigated and addressed. Your voice is powerful, and can change things in the Ocean State. Click here now to contact your lawmakers to demand an investigation. It is time for the status quo thinking of the political elite to change. These shocking discoveries mean our current registration practices may need to be amended, with individuals appropriately held accountable, if voters are to maintain confidence in our State’s elections integrity.


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