Gorbea Wants to Repeal Voter ID; de Ramel Favors "Better Balance"

Dec 12, 2013

While Secretary of State Ralph Mollis calls Rhode Island's Voter ID law a national model, the two Democrats vying to succeed him, Nellie Gorbea and Guillaume de Ramel, are far less enamored with the law.

Gorbea says she favors repealing Voter ID.

"I think it was a solution looking for a problem," Gorbea said during a taping of RIPR's Political Roundtable, "and I think it's very worrisome that there be any kind of barrier to something as fundamental the right to vote. People have died to the right to vote. We've expanded the right to vote, and to suddenly put any kind of barrier -- no matter how light it seems -- without absolutely compelling evidence that we have a problem is not a good idea."

The passage in 2011 of Voter ID -- a concept usually associated with Republicans -- in the heavily Democratic state of Rhode Island attracted national attention.

De Ramel's campaign provided this statement from the candidate about his stance on Voter ID:

"We have seen Voter ID laws used in states such as Florida and North Carolina as tools to explicitly suppress minority votes. The civic health of our state depends on more voters — not less — participating in our elections. I believe we can draw a better balance between conducting fair elections and encouraging people to exercise their right to vote."

For much more from Gorbea, listen to RIPR's Political Roundtable at 5:40 and 7:40 a.m. Friday (or online). De Ramel will join us next week. UPDATE: De Ramel used his appearance to reassert his opposition to voter ID.