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Legislation to Nix Master Lever Headed to Governor

Legislation to Nix Master Lever Headed to Governor

NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island General Assembly has given final approval to legislation that would eliminate the straight-party option on ballots known as the "master lever."

The House lent its final approval Thursday by a vote of 67-0.

The measure heading to Gov. Lincoln Chafee's desk would eliminate the master lever on all non-primary ballots in elections beginning in 2015. An earlier version would have taken effect immediately.

Rep. Michael Marcello, who long fought for elimination of the master lever, supported the bill but said he was disappointed it was amended to take effect in 2015.

The legislation includes a requirement for a voter outreach and education effort.

About a quarter of Rhode Island voters in the 2012 elections used the master lever; three-fourths supported Democrats.

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