March 21, 2013

Meg Rogers: Abolishing the Master Lever Will Promote, Not Hinder, Democracy

Engaged Citizen

We, as a society, need to give deference to traditions upon which good governance is built, but, like corsets, manual typewriters, and LP records, the Rhode Island “Master Lever’s” time has passed. It is time to allow it to retire with dignity into the memories of our grandparents and public affairs’ historians.

Contrary to what some may say, eliminating “straight party voting” will not result in civil unrest, locusts or the plague. It will not hinder democracy—rather, it will promote it.

In an increasingly complex world, ending the Master Lever will remove a needless barrier to thoughtful voter participation. By removing it, you actually promote voter literacy because voters must pay attention to each and every electoral race and to each and every ballot question or referendum before them. In Narragansett where I live, many voters in 2012 chose the Master Lever for the Moderate Party, even though there were no Moderate Party candidates listed on our ballot. This is not working.

There are no reasons to continue this archaic practice. Please, do not keep Rhode Island behind the curve as we know the majority of states do not permit straight-party voting. Out of the more than 1500 bills submitted before you this legislative session, this one is truly a “no brainer.” Please pass this bill and get back to the business of helping business, and restoring our business climate so that people can work, live and thrive in our beautiful State.

[Meg Rogers is Chair of the Narragansett GOP. This is the testimony that she gave to the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee last week. Visit the Narragansett GOP Facebook page here.]

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THe author is correct: master lever removal is a no-brainer. Of course, RI is behind the rest of the country as we are in everything else. I wonder if the Dems will kill this just to retaliate against Ken Block?

Posted by: Joe at March 21, 2013 2:19 PM

Retaliate for what, exactly?? Breathing?

Not accepting the crappy status quo?

Posted by: Ke at March 21, 2013 4:14 PM

Retaliate for what, exactly?? Breathing?

Not accepting the crappy status quo?

Posted by: Ken Block at March 21, 2013 4:15 PM

The Dems have killed this bill every year for 30 years - if it gets killed again this year I am fairly certain it won't have nearly as much to do with me as it has to do with the self-interest that the RI legislature has in keeping the lever around.

Posted by: Ken Block at March 21, 2013 4:18 PM

Didn't they just underhandedly kill the bill giving the Ethics Commission jurisdiction over the GA. I suspect they would have no qualms killing this one too. We live in the dark ages in this state. No accountability.

Posted by: Max D at March 21, 2013 7:59 PM

No far. Even sheep have a breaking point.

Posted by: Mike at March 21, 2013 8:50 PM

"Not accepting the crappy status quo?

[gasp] He spoke the truth! [murmur, murmur ...]

Posted by: Monique at March 21, 2013 11:40 PM
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