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Rhode Island Governor Signs AARP-Backed Election Bill

Woman Mailing Her Absentee Voter Ballot
Spiderstock/Getty Images

Temporary voting rules introduced in 2020 to keep Rhode Island voters safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic were made permanent on Wednesday, as Gov. Daniel McKee signed a bill codifying no-excuse mail voting, ballot drop boxes and an online mail ballot request portal. 

The new law also eliminates a witness and notary requirement for mail ballots and allows nursing home residents to join the state’s permanent absentee ballot list, among other changes designed to make voting easier. 

AARP Rhode Island helped push the bill over the finish line, urging older adults to contact their lawmakers to voice their support. In a recent video posted to AARP Rhode Island’s Facebook page, State Director Catherine Taylor said the bill will “make voting in our state better and more secure than ever.” 

Its passage is our latest win this legislative cycle, as we fight to ensure older Americans can easily cast their ballot. We backed a bill in Connecticut that expanded absentee voting and pushed back on bills introduced in Utah that would have made voting more difficult by limiting vote-by-mail ballots and introducing extra paperwork for people who help voters cast a ballot. 
Read our guide to voting in Rhode Island, and see how new voting laws may have changed procedures in your state.

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