Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced his support for the elimination of the Single Party Vote mechanism, more commonly known as the Master Lever, from the Rhode Island ballot.
"It is time for Rhode Island to join the majority of states and eliminate the Master Lever from the ballot," said Governor Chafee. "Any mechanism that contributes to voter confusion -- and worse, voter disenfranchisement -- should not be on the ballot. Its time has come."
Eliminating the Master Lever will further align Rhode Island with its neighboring states and provide its citizens with more open and transparent government. Through elimination of the Master Lever, Rhode Islanders will have more of an opportunity to closely examine the ballot in its entirety, helping to create a more diverse representation of patrons serving their communities.
"I am thrilled that Governor Chafee supports the elimination of the Master Lever in Rhode Island," said Ken Block, Sponsor of the Eliminate the Master Lever in Rhode Island initiative. "There is ample evidence that the Master Lever both disenfranchises and confuses voters, particularly in down ticket races. This is an important electoral reform and the Governor's support is a crucial component to helping to end this harmful ballot device. Governor Chafee's out front leadership on this issue demonstrates his continued independence and dedication to open government."
Many of the state's good government groups from the right, left, and center support removal of the Master Lever, including twenty four city and town councils that have endorsed eliminating the state requirement. Rhode Island is one of 16 states nationwide to continue to use the Master Lever.
Rhode Island citizens can tell their elected officials it is time to eliminate the Master Lever by visiting www.masterlever.org.