Politics
12:00 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

Block attracting support for killing the master lever

Ken Block says straight-ticket voting has a distorting effect on RI politics

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Moderate Party founder Ken Block is leading a new effort to eliminate straight-ticket voting in Rhode Island. Critics say the so-called master lever makes it more difficult to challenge the ruling Democratic Party.

Block has created a Web site, masterlever.org, with an online petition calling for eliminating the master lever. He says straight-ticket voting has a distorting effect on politics in Rhode Island.

“When a voter chooses the master lever, and they don’t know who is on the ballot below the top-ticket race, and they end up voting for those people down-ticket," Block says. "That’s harmful to our democracy.”

General Assembly support is needed to eliminate the master lever. Block says a legislative effort to kill straight ticket voting never came out of committee last year despite a large number of cosponsors. He’s trying to change the outlook this time around by building support and putting elected officials on the record.

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