Over 30 Community Organizations Rally for Same Day Voter Registration

Today, over 30 community organizations from across Rhode Island came together in support of putting a question on the November 2024 ballot to allow Rhode Island to enact Same Day Voter Registration.

Rhode Island’s current 30-day voter registration deadline is the longest in the nation. If passed, this legislation would pave the way for Rhode Island to be the 23rd state to enact Same Day Voter Registration. 

“Our voter registration deadline is needlessly restrictive, and it prevents too many potentially eligible voters from participating in our elections,” said John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island. “It’s past time that we give Rhode Islanders the opportunity to change this arbitrary, bureaucratic provision.” 

“Enabling Same Day Voter Registration will mean that no voter is disenfranchised due to outdated voter registration waiting periods,” said Secretary of State Gregg M. Amore. “Modern technology enables us to register voters on Election Day – in fact, we already do so during presidential elections – and the time has come for us to modernize our laws to increase voter access and voter participation.”

“To improve access to the ballot box, we need to modernize all aspects of voting here in Rhode Island to reflect advances in technology and the way Rhode Islanders live, work, and participate in civic life now,” said Senator Alana DiMario. “We have the capacity to verify residency much faster than when the 30-day residency requirement was put in place. It’s time we put the power in the hands of the General Assembly to move us closer to Same Day Voter Registration for local and state elections.”

“Same Day Registration empowers citizens to actively participate in shaping their democracy, breaking down barriers and ensuring that every voice is heard,” said Representative Karen Alzate. “It fosters inclusivity, accessibility, and a vibrant civic engagement that strengthens the foundations of a robust and responsive society.”

“The right to vote is the cornerstone of civic participation. Same Day Voter Registration is crucial to ensuring that every eligible voter has the opportunity to exercise that right without interference from unnecessary bureaucratic barriers,” said Vimala Phongsavanh, senior director of external affairs for Planned Parenthood Votes! Rhode Island. “While politicians across the country continue to attack reproductive rights and ban abortion outright, it is critical that we improve access to voting and mobilize more people to elect leaders that will protect our futures, our health, our rights and our freedoms.”

“Many of our members, who are hardworking healthcare professionals, often face unpredictable schedules and long hours, making it difficult to register to vote in advance,” said Alex Moore, political director for SEIU District 1199. “Same Day Voter Registration ensures that these dedicated individuals are not disenfranchised due to the demands of their critical roles in our healthcare system. And as a union representing a diverse workforce, we recognize that marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by restrictive voting laws. Same Day Voter Registration is a measure that supports inclusivity and equality, principles that are deeply ingrained in our union’s mission.” 

More information on Same Day Voter Registration is available at LetRIVote.org