In the past weeks, the Rhode Island House and Senate Judiciary committees heard from local young people and advocates on a range of innovative democracy reform bills. Some highlights:
H 7106 and S 2081, the House and Senate versions of Youth Voter Pre-Registration, continue to gain support after successful hearings. "We should be able to pre-register when we get our license, or even better, in school in a civics class," Amanda Gaynor, 16, of Providence, told the House Committee. Read more about this widely supported, bi-partisan bill, or check out a recent letter to Judiciary committee members from FairVote Rhode Island. (Pictured: Ocean State teens with S 2081 sponsor Sen. Rhoda Perry and FairVote RI Director Ari Savitzky)
S 2551 and H 7104, which would ensure a full vote for all first time voters by allowing registered and otherwise eligible 17 year olds to vote in primary elections, gained the support of Common Cause Rhode Island and Rhode Island Secretary of State Ralph Mollis. Jen McGill, 17, of Pawtucket, noted before the House committee that many other states have already written such provisions into law. On the senate side, her father, Ken McGill, told committee members that the reform was “just common sense.”
In addition to those youth engagement measures, Judiciary committee members heard from FairVote Rhode Island Director Ari Savitzky on issues like the plan to elect the president by National Popular Vote, a bill that would allow cities and towns to use Choice voting in Local Elections, and a measure which would ensure that vacant US Senate seats are filled by special election.
Take action today! Contact your state representative and state senator today and ask them to support these innovative reforms.