Voter ID

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea joins Political Roundtable to talk about what needs to be done to improve lobbying oversight; whether she'll move to oppose Voter ID; her reaction to President Obama's State of the Union address; and more.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Despite two close races and a controversial vote on gambling in Newport, The Rhode Island Secretary of State is predicting only moderate voter turnout for today’s mid-term elections.  But the hope is for better numbers than 2010.

That’s because this year has an extremely tight and potentially landmark governor’s race on the line.  Latest polling numbers show Democrat Gina Raimondo and Republican Allan Fung neck in neck.  Secretary of State Ralph Mollis says his office is hoping for about fifty percent of eligible voters to exercise their right.


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.

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.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic Secretary of State candidate Guillaume de Ramel joins us on Political Roundtable this week to discuss his campaign; Gina Raimondo's entry in the race for governor; and possible fallout from the recall election defeated in Exeter.

Democratic Secretary of State candidate Guillaume de Ramel is taking a strong stand against the voter ID law passed in 2011, one week after his campaign said he favors "a better balance between conducting fair elections and encouraging people to exercise their right to vote."

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic Secretary of State candidate Nellie Gorbea joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss her campaign; Rhode Island's Voter ID law, the move to create separate councils overseeing K-though-12 and higher education; and the lack of bidders for a study on the impact of not paying back investors in 38 Studios.

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.

A compromise measure in the Rhode Island House will require voters to show ID – but not photo ID – when they go to the polls. The bill will be the subject of a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.

Democratic State Representative Larry Valencia of Richmond had introduced a bill to repeal the state’s voter ID law. Valencia says he opposes voter ID because he sees it as a barrier to voting. But the rep said his bill will be amended to address concerns on both sides of the issue.

Voters will still have to show identification to vote in Rhode Island -- but not a photo ID -- under a compromise ticketed for passage in the House of Representatives.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mar 4, 2013

RI lawmakers are considering changing the Voter ID law.  RI artists can get some help managing their money.  These stories and more on the RIPR Morning News Podcast.   
Plus Political Commentator Scott MacKay analyzes what the current sequestration means to RI.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

East Providence Polling Place in 2012
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.

Rhode Island's controversial Voter ID law -- which attracted a a lot of attention after it passed in 2011 -- could be headed for changes, including repeal.

A bill sponsored by Senator Gayle Goldin (D-Providence)  to repeal the law is set to be discussed during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing later today.