Candy McSwain and Bonnie Stevenson, two poll workers in this city’s diverse Elmwood neighborhood, peered at Jeziel Jared Lopez’s passport and expired state ID card and consulted the state’s new list of acceptable forms of voter identification. “It says U.S. passport,” said Ms. McSwain, pointing to the list. “This is O.K.,” Ms. Stevenson said, clearing the way for Mr. Lopez, 18, to vote for the first time. Rhode Island’s state primary on Tuesday gave its new voter identification law its most strenuous exercise yet, stirring dissent and praise from voters who lined up with ID cards, while officials reported few identification-related voting problems. The law, which went into effect this year, requires voters to show a photo ID, bank statement or government-issued document before they are allowed to vote. Its list of accepted forms of identification will become more restrictive in 2014, when only photo IDs will be accepted.
The state’s list of acceptable identification includes IDs from workplaces and gyms, making the law more flexible than similar ones passed in states like Pennsylvania. It also allows voters without IDs to fill out a provisional ballot. The law was in effect for the presidential primary and two municipal special elections earlier this year; in those elections, of about 25,000 ballots cast, fewer than 30 provisional ballots were needed for voter-related issues — one of which was rejected, according to Chris Barnett, spokesman for the secretary of state.
Full Article: Rhode Island Primary Tests New Voter ID Law – NYTimes.com.