The 'Master Lever' or 'Straight Party Option' is a Rhode Island state law that requires the ballot to contain an option for voting for all candidates in one political party with a single mark of the ballot.Eliminating the Master Lever is an important change Rhode Island must take now. Only 16 states nationwide, and none in New England, use this vestige of 18th century political machines anymore.
With Your Help We Can End the Master Lever
Last year thousands of Rhode Islanders told their legislators again and again that we wanted to end the Master Lever and restore integrity to the voting process – but they ignored us.
What’s more, they’re intending to do it again this year.
If that makes you angry, here’s what to do.
- Send an email to your elected officials, especially the two people who have the power to bring anti-Master Lever legislation to a vote, Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed and Speaker of the House Gordon Fox. These two politicians, more than anyone else in RI, are responsible for our being denied a fair, honest, out-in-the-open vote on the issue. [View letter below]
- Keep an eye on our progress by clicking on the “senators,” “representatives” and “other elected officials” tabs above. We’ll be tracking the positions of all our leaders and candidates as the session goes on.
Please join me in reminding our legislators how important ending the Master Lever is to Rhode Island’s future.
Thanks for helping!
- Ken Block
To let your elected officials including Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed and House Speaker Gordon Fox know how you feel, please fill in your information at the end of the text and click Send Email.Your personal information will be used ONLY to support eliminating the Master Lever and will not be shared with any other organization.
Please eliminate the Single Party Vote (Master Lever) option from the Rhode Island ballot
To: Governor Chafee
House Speaker Fox
Senate President Paiva-Weed
House Majority Leader Nicholas Mattiello
House Judiciary Chairwoman Ajello
Senate Majority Leader Ruggerio
Senate Judiciary Chairman McCaffrey
I am writing to ask that this year you allow members of the House or Senate to take an open roll-call vote on legislation to eliminate the Master Lever.
As you know, last year thousands of people spoke out in favor of ending automated Straight Party Voting. All of us were disappointed to see it held for further study even though dozens of legislators publicly favored it and no arguments were made against it.
The Master Lever confuses many voters and disenfranchises others. It is an anti-democratic tool that contributes to Rhode Island's reputation as a business-unfriendly state.
We hope this year will be different and that you'll hold an open vote giving your colleagues the opportunity to end this archaic form of machine politics.