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Rhode Island Secretary of State Gorbea on Today's Convening of Elections Integrity Commission

"Today the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity met in New Hampshire. Part of their presentation included the erroneous claim that 30 percent of Rhode Island voters in 2016 are somehow illegitimate or not verified.

This is a false characterization of eligible voters who are legally registered to vote in Rhode Island.

These are voters who likely registered to vote before federal law was changed in 2002 that required additional personal information. The average age of these voters is 61. 89% of these voters are from suburban communities, with the largest number living in Warwick.

In short, these voters are your friends, your family, and your neighbors. If you registered to vote in Rhode Island before 2002, these voters likely include you. Allowing unsubstantiated claims to influence our public policy can lead to real consequences and the exclusion of legitimate voters.

In Rhode Island, we have been proactive to preserve the integrity of our elections. For three years, my office has been hard at work implementing secure, state-of-the-art voting systems, such as Automatic Voter Registration and Online Voter Registration. These systems leverage technology to keep our voter rolls up-to-date. They have simultaneously made it easier for Rhode Island citizens to vote.

To be clear, falsifying voter information is a criminal act. Our justice system is set up to deal with it. Disenfranchising voters is neither necessary nor appropriate to prevent it."

-Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea

Related links

  • Department or agency: Office of the Secretary of State
  • Online: http://www.sos.ri.gov/
  • Release date: 09-12-2017

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