RI May Step Back from Voter ID Law

Mar 4, 2013

East Providence Polling Place in 2012
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

A controversial Voter ID bill that became law in 2011 could face changes at the General Assembly, including possible repeal. The passage of the law by a Democratic-controlled legislature attracted national attention.

Supporters of Voter ID call it a way to protect the integrity of voting. But critics say requiring voters to prove their identity reduces turnout by minorities and other groups that usually support Democrats.

Senator Gayle Goldin, a Providence Democrat, is sponsoring a bill to repeal Voter ID. House Speaker Gordon Fox’s office says that chamber will consider a range of options, including continuing to allow a variety of non-photo IDs.

The Voter ID law is being phased in through multiple election cycles. As the law currently stands, photo IDs won’t be required until next year’s election.

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