Several key legislators joined the governor during a signing ceremony Thursday at the State House of legislation to eliminate the “master lever,” or straight-party voting option, on all non-primary Rhode Island elections that will be held after January 1, 2015. Sponsored in the House by Rep. K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) and in the Senate by Sen. David E. Bates (R-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence), the bills (2014-H 8072A and 2014-S 2091A) were passed by the General Assembly and officially signed by the governor earlier this year.
The new law also includes a requirement for a “Training and Community Outreach” program. It requires the Secretary of State to conduct training and consultations with the State Board of Elections and local boards of canvassers. It also requires the Secretary of State to conduct community outreach programs throughout the state, including the distribution of materials to state and local libraries.
Rhode Island had been one of only 14 states and the only New England state that used the “master lever,” or straight-party voting, procedure in elections.
Full Article: Bills do away with master lever – Warwick Beacon.