Revising the state’s voter identification law will have to wait another year, after House Speaker Gordon D. Fox called off a scheduled House vote on proposed legislation Wednesday. The bill that had been before the House proposed eliminating a new requirement set to take effect for the 2014 election: showing a valid picture identification before voting. Currently, Rhode Islanders must show an ID at the polls, but, starting next year, that ID must have a picture on it.
Community groups, including the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union, have complained that the requirement would disenfranchise elderly, minority and low income voters.
Fox, in his bid for re-election last year, had said addressing the concerns was a priority this session. But the proposal meant to do so, introduced by state Rep. Larry Valencia, D-Richmond, had faced its own criticism.