Rhode Island Democrats seek to remove details about voters’ birthdays
Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea wants to protect voters' identities by removing birthdays from the state's voter rolls. But critics say this could lead to a pileup of redundant registrations.
This week, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would codify a decision Gorbea, a Democrat, made a few years ago. In summer 2016, she quietly changed what information is publicly available in the state's Central Voter Registration System by removing the day and month from the list of voter birth dates, The Providence Journal reported.
The bill, which so far is only supported by Democrats, would put that change into writing. While Gorbea says this will help prevent voter identity theft, the Journal reports that no such incidences of theft have been cited.
Opponents argue that keeping full birth dates on voter rolls helps parse out any repeat registrations or enrollments from people who are deceased. Rhode Island has roughly 790,000 registered voters, but past investigations by the Journal revealed there could be thousands of duplicates.
The paper trail has become the industry standard for giving voters and elections officials confidence that ballots haven't been hacked. Now comes another back-to-the-future move for boosting security and bolstering public confidence in elections: the return of the 10-sided dice.
The quirky toys found in many high school classrooms and role-playing games are part of a pilot program announced this week in Pennsylvania, which is joining a handful of other states in trying out a math-based system for checking the accuracy of election returns.
The "risk-limiting audit" searches for irregularities in vote tallies and relies on some seriously advanced statistical analysis combined with a bit of analog randomness, which is where auditors using those pentagonal trapezohedrons (the dice) at public audit hearings will get involved.
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