Rhode Island House of Representatives OKs bills to reform mail ballot process during elections

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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — The Rhode Island House of Representatives has passed three bills to reform the mail ballot process during state elections.

The bills aim to simplify the requirement for the time mail ballots must be securely stored and increase transparency and voter turnout.

The first bill would change the time mail ballots must be stored from the first day in September in the second year after the ballots are cast to simply 22 months after the election.

The second bill requires ballot counting sessions to be advertised on state websites and removes a requirement to preserve outer ballot envelopes.

The third bill allows mail ballot applications to serve as an affirmation form for inactive voters, if the application address matches where the voter is registered.

Companion legislation must pass the Senate.

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