Rhode Island is making national news by becoming the ninth state to pass an Automatic Voter Registration bill, which automatically registers eligible citizens to vote when interacting with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea has long championed AVR, saying it will clean up voter rolls and boost registration among previously underrepresented groups. “I made a point of saying that we would have elections that are fair, fast and accurate,” Gorbea said at a press conference Tuesday at the State House. She continued, “Of course, having a clean voter list is critical to preserving the integrity of elections.”
“I love it when we can be in the top ten,” Governor Gina Raimondo said, adding, “I don’t have to remind everyone how important it is to vote. If you stay home, bad things can happen. Elections have consequences.” Raimondo signed the legislation at the conference.
“While others talk about it, Rhode Island is getting it done,” Gorbea bragged.
She said when U.S. Representative David Cicilline introduced the Automatic Voter Registration Act, on a national level in June 2015, he announced it from her office. National legislation hasn’t been enacted, yet states are moving ahead.