Watching the Senate: Election Reform

The Senate appears to be willing to tackle a couple issues that certainly seem to foster political corruption. S 0283, proposed by Senators Gibbs, Bates, Cote, Blais, and Breene, would amend the currently defined procedure for voting:

Each person desiring to vote shall, before receiving his or her ballot, state his or her name and residence, including that person’s street address, if he or she has any, and shall present one form of identification that bears the name, address and photograph of the person desiring to vote or two (2) different forms of identification that bear the name and address of such person to the pair of bi-partisan supervisors, who shall then announce the name and residence in a loud and distinct voice, clear and audible. {New language in italics}

Additionally, the same group of senators has also proposed a new non-binding referendum, S 0293:

There shall be submitted to the qualified electors of the state of Rhode
Island at the next general election for their approval the following non-binding referendum question: “Shall ‘straight party master levers’ and ‘straight party computer ballot marks’ and all programming equipment related thereto, be removed from all voting equipment?”

Now, the first is clearly an idea whose time as come. As for the second, while I’d rather see the “straight party” thing go away now, I will give it to this group of senators for their willingness to put it before the voters. In fact, I’d say these senators, many of who also sponsored legislation on illegal immigration and charter schools, are some of the more forward-thinking in the senate. That being said, I’ll pass final judgment when and if these measures are enacted.

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