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Federal Lawsuit Filed Against Rhode Island's Straight-Ticket Device

Published on July 28, 2010, by in General.

On July 28, Robert J. Healey and eleven other voters filed a lawsuit in federal court, to stop the use of a straight-ticket device in Rhode Island.  Healey is on the ballot as a candidate for Lieutenant Governor in November, with the partisan label “Cool Moose Party.”  Because his party is not ballot-qualified (although it was in the past) it won’t have a straight-ticket device on the November ballot.  Only the Democratic, Moderate and Republican Parties will have such a device.  The lawsuit charges that the straight-ticket device, as used in Rhode Island, is discriminatory.

The lawsuit also argues that the straight-ticket device does not work well with the kind of vote-counting system Rhode Island uses.  When a voter pushes the straight-ticket button, the face of the ballot (on a computer screen) does not make it obvious to the voter whom he or she has just voted for.  Also it causes many voters to ignore the parts of the ballot that contain ballot questions and non-partisan races.  The case is Healey v State of Rhode Island, cv-10-316S.  It has a hearing on August 5 at 9 a.m.

2 Responses

  1. Jeff Becker

    We’ll certainly be following this in West Virginia where the law is that only counties where at least two candidates from the same party appear on the ballot is the straight ticket “device” available. This is where a party gets its complete name spelled out along with a logo. The Republicans use the federal eagle, and the Democrats use a rooster. Libertarians used to use the Statue of Liberty.

    Otherwise, candidates are listed by 3-letter “abbreviation”: REP, DEM, MTN, CON. This is misleading as “CON” for Constitution Party could be read as other words, and MTN should technically be MOU by this method.

  2. Demo Rep

    Did RI inherit all the MORON stuff from FL in 2000 ???

    Where are those $$$ damage cases against the State election law bureaucrats involved — to BANKRUPT them and even the MORON State regimes involved ???

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