Pre-Registration Vetoed, FairVote RI Urging Override

Posted on June 23, 2008
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!

 
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