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Rhode Island ACLU files suit over provisional ballots

[JURIST] Challenging a state Board of Elections decision that it claims could void hundreds of provisional ballots cast on Election Day, the ACLU of Rhode Island filed an emergency lawsuit against the state on Monday. The ACLU claims that the Board of Elections has decided to not count provisional ballots cast by voters who failed to present the necessary photo identification required if they had registered by mail after Jan. 1, 2003 without submitting an identification document. The lawsuit, which seeks a court order mandating that any disqualification of ballots be on grounds other than failure to present ID, alleges that the state policy will create "placebo ballots" for hundreds of voters, and violates the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. The ACLU argues that the state policy will mostly affect voters who do not drive, thus impacting low-income voters. See the ACLU press release.

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