As a result of an “IT” snafu in the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles’ automatic-voter-registration system, the new and newly-updated records of at least 5,000 potential primary day voters got stuck in limbo. Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea is asking the state Board of Elections to take emergency steps at its next meeting on Wednesday to rectify the situation. More specifically, she is asking the state board to give the go-ahead for elections officials in all 39 cities and towns to add at least 1,400 new voters to their local rolls before the Sept. 12 primary, and change their own records to reflect changes — such as a move to a new address — of another 3,600 previously registered voters who did business with the DMV in the last year.
If all of this worked as it was supposed to work, Joseph Graziano, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, said the information would have been automatically conveyed from the “RI.gov” website, run by NIC Inc., to the state’s central voter registration system. As to why that did not happen, Graziano said it appeared that “a few of the fields” were missing from the computer program.
“It is now clear that this matter requires the Board’s immediate attention,” Gorbea wrote a host of other state officials, including the members of the elections board, after the snafu came to light. Her summary:
“On Saturday, August 18, 2018, Norelys Consuegra from the Rl Department of State Elections Division contacted Charles Hollis of the DMV regarding the transmission of a specific voter registration record. On Saturday, August 25, 2018 we were notified by Department of Revenue Director Mark Furcolo that some records linked to the DMV online license renewals may not have been properly transmitted to the CVRS due to an issue with the DMV’s IT vendor, Ri.gov.