WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last Wednesday, June 8, Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D) signed the “Let RI Vote Act” into law, making permanent the temporary voting expansion enacted for the 2020 election. The legislation, S. 2007A/ H.7100, passed the Rhode Island House and Senate last month. S. 2007A makes Rhode Island the 34th state to allow any voter to vote by mail for any reason, without providing a specific excuse. In doing so, the law also removes the previous requirement for two witnesses or a notary to request a mail-in ballot and permits voters to apply for mail-in ballots online. Additionally, the law outlines procedures for updating voter rolls and requires that every municipality have at least one secure drop box.
“As we saw in 2020, early voting alternatives were used by a large portion of our population and the results of this change in voting patterns produced a smooth and secure election process that ensured that everyone’s vote was safely counted,” said bill sponsor state Rep. Katherine Kazarian (D). The law goes into effect immediately.