Bring our Master Lever bills out for a vote!
The fate of the bills to eliminate the Master Lever are now solely in the hands of the Senate President and Speaker of the House.
We should not allow these two individuals the ability to silently kill these bills by ignoring them and letting them die at the end of the legislative session (similar bills have been killed this way for more than 30 years).
No advocate has stepped forward to save the Master Lever - everyone knows that this ballot mechanism is broken and not defensible.
Help us pressure the President and Speaker by sending the email below. If you have already sent emails from this website, all you need to do is enter your email address, and we will fill in your mailing address and all you need to do is hit send. If you have not used this website before, simply enter your information below and within 60 seconds you can make legislative leadership aware that you want them to allow the Master Lever bill to come up for a vote!
Thank you for your continued advocacy to help eliminate the Master Lever in Rhode Island.
Please fill in the information below to send the following email to your Senate President and Speaker of the House and ask them to bring our Master Lever bills out for a vote!All personal information collected on this site will ONLY be used to fight to eliminate the master lever. Your personal information will NOT be shared with other organizations for any reason. Your information will be used to communicate to our elected officials your opposition to the master lever.
Please bring the Master Lever bills S0039 and H5072 out for a vote
To: Senate President Theresa Paiva-Weed
House Speaker Gordon Fox
Dear President Paiva-Weed and Speaker Fox:
I write to you today to ask that you please bring Master Lever bills S0039 and H5072 to the floor of your respective chambers for a vote on the merits of the bill.
More than 2,600 Rhode Island citizens have come forward and sent emails to you asking for your support to eliminate the Master Lever. House and Senate Judiciary Committees saw unanimous support from the public to eliminate the Master Lever - not a single person testified to keep the Master Lever on the Rhode Island ballot. Senate Judiciary heard from more than 70 testifiers and House Judiciary heard from very close to 100.
Per the rules of the House and Senate, you both hold exclusive power over the fate of these bills at this point in time. Both Judiciary Committees voted to 'hold' these bills for 'further study'. The Master Lever issue has been 'studied' for more than 30 years, with plenty of academic studies showing that the Master Lever causes bad things to happen to voters and candidates down ballot, and that the Master Lever causes poor and undereducated voters to make many more voting mistakes than are made when no Master Lever mechanism exists on the ballot. The website http://www.masterlever.org has documented that more than half of Master Lever voters under voted the non-partisan school committee race in Burrillville in 2010.
You alone will choose whether these bills come up for a vote, or die without any further consideration.
I want to point out that the House has already brought a very contentious issue to the floor and passed a Same Sex Marriage bill, and that the Senate President has stated that she feels that it is her job and duty to bring a Same Sex Marriage bill to the Senate floor for debate and a vote. There is no contention over the Master Lever bill - not a single citizen came forward to say keep the Master Lever. It is unconscionable that you would consider not allowing a vote to occur for these bills at this point in time. These bills and this issue are deserving of both a committee vote and if it passes, full consideration on the chamber floors.
If you choose to kill these bills by failing to allow them to come up for a committee vote, you are confirming that Rhode Island has a closed political system and that legislative leadership cannot be counted on to do the right thing by the majority of Rhode Island residents. This is an economic issue - if business perceives that the political system is rigged and that the legislature is not accountable that will have a very negative impact on the State's ability to attract new businesses. The citizens of this state have had it with a political culture that allows something like 38 Studios to happen. Transparency and good government are good for everybody.
Allow your Judiciary Committees to do their jobs and allow your full chambers to do theirs and bring the Master Lever bills out for a vote. If the bill goes down in a fair vote, so be it. If the bill passes, RI will join a growing majority of states that have removed this archaic and harmful voting mechanism from our ballot.
After more than 30 years, it is beyond time to bring this issue to the floor for a vote.