Rep. John Adams: Stop the partisanship, hesitation on photo ID legislation
Voter Identification Requirement Has Bipartisan Support Nationwide

House Majority Whip John Adams (R-Sidney) applauded the State of Rhode Island’s strong bipartisan support of a bill to require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

On Wednesday, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee—an Independent—signed into law a voter ID bill that received strong support in the Democrat-controlled state legislature, as well as from “representatives of the state’s minority communities.”

In response to Rhode Island’s bipartisan cooperation in considering and passing this bill, Rep. Adams released the following statement:

“It is very encouraging that other states are moving forward on this common-sense concept that will strengthen elections and restore voters’ confidence in the democratic process. Since the introduction of our bill, House Bill 159, a handful of other states have introduced similar legislation and have shown that they understand the urgency of keeping Election Day procedures clean and honest.

“I am disappointed that Secretary of State Jon Husted has not supported this legislation despite nationwide bipartisan support from both state legislatures and the public. The majority of Americans understand that in order to cast a vote, showing an electric bill is not enough for today’s identification purposes. A recent Rasmussen poll found support for photo ID requirements to be 85 percent among Republicans, 63 percent among Democrats, and 77 percent among Independents, which further underscores the importance of this issue to our citizens. Secretary Husted’s line-in-the-sand stance against this photo ID bill seems to indulge the editorial boards more than it serves the people of this state.

“While some Ohio lawmakers have resorted to parroting Secretary Husted’s comments without fully considering what the vast majority of the public wants, I am hopeful that this bill will move expeditiously through the Senate with the bipartisan support it deserves. I look forward to the Senate’s consideration of House Bill 159 as we join our colleagues across the nation—both Republican and Democrat—in addressing voter fraud and restoring the public’s faith in elections.”

Lawmakers from Rhode Island have expressed the necessity of a photo ID bill in an effort to reduce voter fraud and improve the Election Day process. “Voting should be at least as secure as renting a car, getting a library card or any of the other tasks that routinely require an ID,” said Rhode Island Democratic Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis, who asserts that the “belief that voter fraud exists undermines the public’s faith in the fairness of our elections.”

“Some people look at this as a Republican or a conservative issue,” Rhode Island Democratic Representative and bill sponsor Jon D. Brien stated. “I look at it as an electoral issue.”

Rhode Island Democratic Senator Harold M. Metts, an African American who sponsored the Senate’s companion legislation, expressed that his African American and Latino constituents asked him to sponsor a voter ID bill out of concern for voter fraud.

“As a minority citizen and a senior citizen, I would not support anything that I thought would present obstacles or limit protections,” he said. “While I’m sensitive to the concerns raised, at this point I am more interested in doing the right thing and stopping voter fraud. Hesitation based on potential ramifications of what may or may not happen at the expense of the integrity of the system is no longer an option.”

Ohio’s House Bill 159 passed from the House in March and is currently awaiting a vote in the Ohio Senate.

ProvidenceJournal_RI Voter-ID Bill Has Support on Both Sides of the Aisle

TPMMuckraker_Chafee Signs Voter ID Law


John in Cincinnati said...

Point is, there are significant differences between Rhode Island and Ohio bills, including post election validation of provisional ballots by comparing to registration. RI bill also allows college IDs.

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