A man who tried to vote at the Providence Board of Canvassers was initially denied a provisional ballot Monday — a violation of the voter ID law — according to the Rhode Island Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union. The man tried to cast an emergency vote, “but he did not have the proper ID, was not given a provisional ballot, but instead was told he was simply unable to vote,” the ACLU alleged in a news release. A witness drew the incident to a supervisor’s attention, and the man was provided with a provisional ballot, the ACLU statement said. “Although the error was resolved for this complainant,” the ACLU called the incident “a warning sign” on the day before the primary.
The incident “confirmed the legitimacy” of prior concerns raised by the ACLU and other organizations since the law went into effect in 2012, about poll workers unlawfully preventing people from voting under the state’s voter ID law, the statement said.
A spokesperson at the Providence Board of Canvassers could not be reached for comment.
“If poll workers in the most populous municipality in the state are misinformed about the law, we can only imagine the amount of misinformation that exists elsewhere,” said Steven Brown, ACLU executive director.