Voters would have to show identification at the polls starting next year under a bill passed Thursday by the Rhode Island Senate. A driver’s license, a passport, military ID or a voter identification card are among the forms of identification allowed under the proposal. The bill would require the state to provide free voter identification cards. Those without identification could cast provisional ballots.
The requirements would go into effect for 2012 elections. Until 2014, voters could also use a birth certificate, Social Security card or Medicare card. The Senate voted 27-6 in favor of the legislation Thursday. The bill now moves to the House, where a voter ID bill has already been introduced.
Similar legislative proposals have failed in recent years, though in 2009 a voter identification bill passed the House. This year the measure has won support from both political parties.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Harold Metts, D-Providence, said the proposal would prevent voter fraud and restore public confidence in elections. He said he began working on the bill after hearing complaints of alleged voter fraud in the 2010 primary election. “My interest is in protecting and strengthening our elections,” he said. “No one will be denied the right to vote.”
Full Article: RI Senate passes voter identification bill – Boston.com.