Rhode Island closes 66 percent of polling places to cut election costs
The Rhode Island Board of Elections announced this week that two-thirds of the state’s polling places would remain closed for the upcoming primary as a costs savings measure.
According to WPRI, the Board of Elections plans to cut costs by opening only 144 of the state’s 419 polling places for the April 26 primary.
Board of Elections Director Robert Rapoza argued that the state had handled record turnout in 2008 after implementing similar cost savings measures.
But since 2008, the state has reduced the total number of polling places. Meaning that there were 33 more voting locations in 2008 than there will be this year.
“I don’t think enough has been done to make sure voters know that they likely won’t be casting their ballot at the same location as they did in November of 2014,” John Marion of Common Cause Rhode Island warned. He noted that voters could review their polling place location and sample ballots online before election day.
“Make sure the first time you’re looking at the ballot isn’t when you have a pen in your hand at the polling place,” he explained. “That’s incredibly important.”
Voters in Arizona recently accused the state of suppressing turnout after the number of polling places by were cut by 70 percent, causing massive lines on election day.
(h/t: US Uncut)