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Pre-Registration Vetoed, FairVote RI Urging Override

On Monday, June 23, Governor Carcieri vetoed bills sponsored by Senator Rhoda Perry and Representative Edwin Pacheco which would allow voter pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds. The same legislation was vetoed by the governor in 2006 and 2007, and this year's pre-registration bill had passed with bi-partisan support, the endorsement of over 25 local groups and its largest margin yet.

In his veto message, the governor called the measure, which would create a uniform age of 16 for young people to pre-register, "a solution without a problem." But the problem is clear: young people are registered at much lower rates than the general population, hindering the start of the voting habit.

The veto also came despite a letter from Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis describing how pre-registration could be implemented. Mollis stressed the straightforward nature of the modifications to Rhode Island's registration system. The Governor, however, argued that pre-registration would clog the voter rolls--despite the fact that pre-registration could make the registration system as a whole less error prone..

Now FairVote RI is urging the General Assembly to override the Governor's veto. Email us to learn how to take action, or contact your state legislator!