Moderate Party chairman and former gubernatorial candidate Ken Block is leading an effort to abolish the so-called master lever, which allows for straight ticket voting with one mark on the ballot in Rhode Island elections. Block has launched a website and that gives voters the opportunity to e-mail Governor Lincoln Chafee and House and Senate leadership on the issue. As on Sunday, Block said in a Facebook post that close to 3,000 e-mails had been sent. Only 16 states across the country allow straight ticket voting. Three states eliminated the option in the 1990’s and two more have done so since 2000.
“The best academic evidence indicates that when voters use the master lever their true preferences for candidates and parties are not realized,” Block’s website states. “In Rhode Island, with 16 communities that have non-partisan town/city councils and school committees or both, the master lever results in significant numbers of voters not examining the entire ballot. Non-partisan races are often overlooked and not voted in by voters who use the master lever.”
The website lists only two elected officials as against eliminating the master lever (Senator Ryan Pearson and Rep. Gus Silva, but the majority of legislators have not voiced their opinion on the matter.
Full Article: GoLocalProv | Politics | Will RI Kill the Master Lever?.