New Voter ID Law Gets Its First Outing In Woonsocket

Jan 15, 2014

Woonsocket voters go to the polls next week to elect a state representative to replace Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, who was recently elected mayor of that city.  The election represents the first time that photo identification will be required of voters.

Woonsocket City Hall

The American Civil Liberties Union is reminding Woonsocket voters to be sure to take along a photo id when they head to the polls Tuesday. Woonsocket is holding a special election to fill the House seat vacated by newly-elected Woonsocket Mayor Lisa-Baldelli Hunt.

It will be the first election in the state in which voters will be required to show photo identification at the polls.  For the past two years voters were able to use non-photo id’s, such as birth certificates, social security cards or utility bills to verify their identity.  

The ACLU is distributing postcards to Woonsocket residents emphasizing that registered voters who are unable to show a photo id must still be allowed to vote by being offered a provisional ballot at the polling place.

It will be counted as a full ballot after the Board of Canvassers verifies that the signature matches that on the voter’s registration form.

The ACLU and other civil rights groups have opposed the photo ID law. Their main concern is that it will disenfranchise voters, particularly the poor, elderly and other vulnerable groups.

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