RE: Mollis Recommends Photo ID… Mollis forms “Voters First Advisory Committee”
Secretary of State Ralph Mollis has assembled a bi-partisan “Voters First Advisory Committee” — which includes the woman who ran against him in the November election – to hash out a list of 10 election-related issues.
The North Providence Democrat says he wants the panel’s input on those matters so they can be addressed with laws to be crafted by his office that he hopes can be in place for the 2008 election.
Some of the Mollis proposals the group will look at are sure to be controversial – such as his call for all voters to show a photo ID a the polling place.
“The lack of a photo ID system creates the perception of voter fraud, shakes voter confidence and leads to lack of voter participation,” according to materials distributed by the secretary of state’s office. “A fair and equitable photo ID system that would stand the test of our judicial system and address the concerns of our community needs to be established.”
The photo ID requirement was one of the grounds for agreement between Mollis and his Republican opponent last year, Susan Stenhouse of Warwick.
Stenhouse is now a member of the commission, as is GOP Sen. June Gibbs. Other members include Woonsocket Rep. Jon Brien, Providence Rep. Joseph Almeida and Providence Sen. Juan Pichardo, all Democrats, as well as Ken McGill, registrar of the Pawtucket Board of Canvassers; Robert Kando, executive director of the state Board of Elections, and Jan Ruggiero, director of the division of elections in the secretary of state’s office. Mollis will be chairman of the committee.
“It was a little weird when I got the call,” to be on a panel of advisors to the man who defeated her, Stenhouse confessed in response to a question. “I almost fell out of my chair.” Nonetheless, she said, “these are issues I am passionate about and I have always felt you don’t have to have the title to make a difference.”
Good for Mollis and a smart political move, too. Now, let’s hope this actually goes somewhere.