Common Cause Rhode Island is calling for immediate improvements to voting in Rhode Island following a primary election in which, according to the advocacy group, “too many eligible voters showed up at the wrong polling place, or waited an unnecessary amount of time to cast their ballot.” “For the vast majority of voters, yesterday went fine,” said John Marion, the executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, on Wednesday afternoon. “But we’re trying to achieve a process where we don’t see any problems and that’s what we are striving for.” On Tuesday, there were problems at some of the polling locations.
“The wait lines seemed to be the most significant problem,” said Marion, who along with his staff spent Election Day observing polling stations throughout the state, monitoring social media and contacting other organizations that were monitoring the polls.
At the Leo Savoie Elementary School in Woonsocket, one Common Cause staff member reported seeing a line of several hundred people. Marion said one woman told him that she would not be able to vote because she had gone to the her usual polling place, which turned out to be closed, and had to leave for work.
The Board of Elections made the decision to consolidate some polling places, as it has done in previous years during presidential primaries.