Rhode Island Senate committee to vote on remote voting bill

PROVIDENCE — The state’s top election officials raised warning flags. 

One state lawmaker after another stated their misgivings when it popped up a year ago.

But a bill to allow remote voting is once again headed to a vote at the Rhode Island State House.

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the bill, S2118, to allow disabled and military voters to “electronically receive and return their mail ballot.”

The proposal was not included in the much-heralded “Let RI Vote” bill, allowing online applications and eliminating longstanding witness requirements for mail ballots, that Gov. Dan McKee is expected to sign into law on Wednesday.

Sen. Stephen Archambault is lead sponsor of the bill.

And only one person spoke in favor of the legislation at a hearing earlier this year: the lead sponsor, Sen. Stephen Archambault, D-Smithfield. 

‘Hostile actors’

Others voiced their support in writing, including the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights. But in a letter of concern to lawmakers, Cranston’s director of elections, Nicholas Lima, wrote:

“There are significant cybersecurity concerns … despite assurances that some electronic ballot vendors tend to promote to the contrary.


Erlando F Rasatro

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