"Master Lever" May Be Banned from Rhode Island Ballots - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather


"Master Lever" May Be Banned from Rhode Island Ballots

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis 


Master lever voting has been around in Rhode Island for a long time.

Instead of voting in each individual race, you can just pull a lever, make a line on the ballot, and vote for all members of your party.

It's very popular in presidential years.

Ken Block, who founded Rhode Island's Moderate Party, wants the master lever outlawed.

"Those voters should cast their ballot for President and leave the voting booth. They shouldn't cast ballots for all kinds of down ticket members of the Democratic Party, without even understanding who those people are and what they stand for," said Block.

ABC 6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "There are all kinds of interesting stories about the master lever. For example, in the past election, 9,000 people pulled that lever for the Moderate Party, even though on most of their ballots, there were no Moderate Party candidates. In essence, those people voted for no one."

So far only two members of the General Assembly have come out in favor of keeping the master lever, Representative Gus Silva, and Senator Ryan Pearson, both democrats

Pearson issued a statement saying the master lever is faster and easier, and helps more people vote.

Our Chief Political Analyst Buddy Cianci said that only helps the party in power.

"It benefits the Democratic Party in this state. There is no question about it. There's no question about that, because they still have a more organized effort to get the vote out than the Republicans do, and they probably will be in that position for a long time to come," Cianci said.

The General Assembly could vote on a master lever repeal, later this year.

For more information see: www.MasterLever.org



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