General Assembly passes new voter machine bills
STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly has passed legislation (2016-H 7330 / 2016-S 2415) that enables newly purchased voting machines to be used in elections. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. David A. Coughlin and Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne now heads to Governor Raimondo’s desk for action.
“As technology progresses at a rapid fire pace, it’s imperative that our election processes keep up with the technological times,” said Representative Coughlin (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket). “This legislation ensures that Rhode Island’s future elections will be transparent, efficient, and cost-effective for our taxpayers.”
“The efficiency and transparency of our election process is integral to the public’s faith in government. That faith is jeopardized with outdated and ineffective voting equipment,” said Senator Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence). “We must adapt to and utilize emerging technologies in order to provide an election process that our citizenry rightly deserves.”
“When I first entered office, I made replacing our outdated voting machines a top priority. This legislation will help us with the implementation of new machines as we continue our work to modernize elections in Rhode Island. I thank House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed, along with bill sponsors Senator Coyne and Representative Coughlin, and the full House and Senate for working with me to make voting more accessible to eligible Rhode Island voters. I look forward to working with our local elections officials and the Board of Elections to improve elections in our state,” said Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea.
Developed with Secretary Nellie M. Gorbea, the legislation would change the definition of vote to accommodate the new computer voting machine. It would also authorize the Board of Elections to promulgate rules concerning the process by which irregular ballots with write-in candidates are stored and recorded. Finally, the legislation would change the process by which printout tapes from the optical scan precinct count unit are handled.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903