Carlson’s early exit renews calls for limiting early voting or using ranked-choice voting

Common Cause Rhode Island rejects recent calls to restrict early voting access.

This article originally appeared in the Boston Globe on August 28, 2023 and was written by Edward Fitzpatrick. 

Below is executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island John Marion’s comment on the Rhode Island Republican Party’s calls to roll back early voting.

But John M. Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, called the GOP statement “a knee-jerk reaction to what is a fairly common occurrence in elections all across the country.”

“This is not the first time a candidate has withdrawn from a race but remained on the ballot, and it won’t be the last time,” he said. “Restricting a popular and secure way for voters to vote is not the right reaction.”

In offering 20 days of early voting, Rhode Island is matching the national average in the 47 states that offer early voting, Marion said. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the three states that don’t offer early in-person voting are Alabama, Mississippi and New Hampshire, and Marion said Alabama and Mississippi “are two states not exactly known for protecting voting rights”


For decades, Rhode Island offered a 20-day emergency mail ballot period, he said. But during the pandemic in 2020, that was converted to a de facto in-person early voting system, and in 2022 that process was renamed as early voting as part of the Let RI Vote Act, he said.

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