RI Taxpayers Urges Passage of Bill to Eliminate Master Lever

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


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The RI Taxpayers organization is urging members of the House Judiciary Committee to pass legislation to eliminate the Master Lever.

The Judiciary Committee will take testimony on bills calling for the repeal of the lever, or straight ticket voting mechanism, at a hearing Wednesday, Beginning at 4:30 pm in Room 313.

Ken Block, founder of the Moderate Party of RI, (MPRI) who also serves as President of RI Taxpayers, will give testimony on behalf of both organizations to the Committee. Block, who has garnered support for repeal of the Lever from numerous statewide elected officials, Mayors, and local City and Town Councils, as well as gathering thousands of signatures from RI citizens, says the master lever hurts both voters and candidates alike.

“The Master Lever can disenfranchise voters’ intent and hurts candidates themselves, because it causes confusion which results in many ballot mistakes,” said Block. “The opportunity and momentum have never been stronger for the Judiciary Committee and the entire Legislature to show they support government reform and integrity in RI elections by moving forward on these bills.”

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In an analysis of sample ballots of the 2010 general election from the town of Burrillville, Block, working with government reform advocate Beverly Clay, found that hundreds of voters misused or misunderstood how to mark the ballot with the master lever mechanism, resulting in many of their choices on the ballot being discounted. He also discovered a significant amount of “under voting”, as candidates in certain races were skipped over entirely on the ballot due to misunderstanding the lever option.

According to a survey conducted by RI Taxpayers.

William San Bento
Agostinho Silva
Arthur Corvese
Ray Gallison
Pat Serpa
Scott Guthrie
Tom Palangio
John DeSimone
Grace Diaz

Speaker Fox
Chris Bazejewski
Anastasia Williams
John Carnevale
Steve Ucci
Deb Fellella
Nick Mattiello
Eileen Naughton
Joe Shekarchi
Don Lally
Cale Keable
Steve Casey
Robert Phillips
Tom Winfield
William O’Brien
J. Patrick O’Neill
Elaine Coderre
Ray Johnston
Mary Messier
Ken Marshall
Dennis Canario
Kathy Kazarian
Helio Melo
Marvin Abney

Sen. Frank Ciccone


Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed
Dom Ruggerio
Paul Jabour
Gayle Goldin
Maryellen Goodwin
Harold Metts
James Doyle
Adam Satchell
Walter Felag
Louis DiPalma
Don DaPonte
Ryan Pearson
Steve Archambault
Paul Fogarty
Frank Lombardi
Hanno Gallo
Josh Miller
Mike McCaffrey
Erin Lynch
Jim Sheehan

RI Taxpayers is the state’s largest non-partisan taxpayer advocacy organization.


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