Same-Day Voter Registration campaign seeks to increase voting access in R.I.

Rhode Island's 30-day voter registration deadline is "one of the last remaining large, structural barriers to increased participation," says Marion.

This article originally appeared in the Brown Daily Herald on February 7, 2024 and was written by Megan Chan.  

Last month, the Rhode Island Voting Access Coalition held a rally for its Let RI Vote for Same-Day Voter Registration campaign. Over 33 community groups and several state officials were in attendance, including Secretary of State Gregg Amore (D), Sen. Alana DiMario (D-North Kingstown,​ Narragansett, New Shoreham) and Rep. Karen Alzate (D-Pawtucket, Central Falls), according to a press release from Common Cause Rhode Island.

The campaign, led by Common Cause, is a part of broader efforts to increase voting access in Rhode Island. The state is one of 15 with a voter registration policy requiring residents to register to vote 30 days before an election. In R.I. same-day voter registration is only available for presidential elections.

According to John Marion, executive director of Common Cause, Rhode Island is also one of few states to codify their registration deadline in the state constitution.

“We see it as one of the last remaining large, structural barriers to increased (voter) participation,” Marion said. “We’re trying to position this as the most important democracy issue in (the state) right now.”

The campaign “is trying to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that would allow for same-day voter registration,” he added.

To read the full article, click here.