Rhode Island Governor Signs Voter ID Into Law; Cites Minority Support

Published Thu, Jul 7 2011 12:05 PM

On Tuesday, Independent Governor Lincoln Chaffee signed a voter ID bill into law. The bill was passed with overwhelming support by both houses of the Rhode Island legislature, which are controlled by Democrats.

The most interesting part about this voter ID bill is the support it received from minority communities. In a press release citing his support for the voter ID law, Governor Chaffee said:

As the General Assembly debated legislation requiring Rhode Island voters to present valid identification at the polls, I met with a number of experts on both sides to discuss this complex issue. Notably, I spoke with representatives of our state’s minority communities, and I found their concerns about voter fraud and their support for this bill particularly compelling.

Additionally, Harold Metts, the sponsor of the bill in the Rhode Island Senate said, “As a minority citizen and a senior citizen I would not support anything that I thought would present obstacles or limit protections”

The Rhode Island voter ID bill, which was passed by a Democratic legislature, signed by an Independent Governor, and supported by minority communities, thwarts attempts by Democrats to say voter ID bills are being passed by Republicans to suppress minority turnout. Democrats should be more concerned about the fairness and integrity of elections than hurling unfounded accusations of voter suppression.

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# Chris Barnett said on Friday, July 29, 2011 2:47 PM

Learn more about Rhode Island's new Voter ID law on the Secretary of State's website at sos.ri.gov/.../voterid.

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