Gregg Amore's Policy
Among all the responsibilities of the Secretary of State, I believe our role in the administration of elections and pursuing policies to improve our elections is one of the most important jobs in all of government. We are seeing record low levels of trust in our government and widespread belief that our elections are neither free nor fair. These trends continue to be a risk to our democracy, and I take seriously the need to build trust in the community, regardless of who wins any particular contest.
I see the role of the Secretary of State to be the educator-in-chief for how we run our elections and why there are, in fact, so few examples of voter fraud. We employ some of the most cutting edge cybersecurity and election security measures, modeling our work after the same security measures used by other sensitive industries such as banking and law enforcement. My belief is that better communication to the public of what is currently in place can build trust and faith that our election results are the will of the people.
We must remember that everything about our elections should focus on what voters need to build greater participation in the process and trust in the outcome. Politicizing elections for the benefit of those in office turns democracy on its head. Good candidates can win elections so long as we are all playing by the same rules, so our policies and laws should reflect what will lead to greater participation and overall trust in the process.
To that end, there are a number of changes I believe will improve our elections:
First, we should create a permanent mail ballot list, where individuals can elect to participate in all future elections by receiving a mail ballot without having to apply each and every year.
Second, with the growth in unaffiliated voters, we should simplify the disaffiliation process so that voters do not unknowingly become members of a political party solely by the act of voting in a party primary.
Third, I believe we should pursue same-day registration so that people can choose to participate in an election right up until election day, rather than having to decide months in advance potentially before they know what is at stake.
Finally, there is a lot we can do to make it easier for a more diverse group of people to be able to run for office. This includes the need to expand our public financing of elections, so that the ability to serve your community is not related to personal wealth of the candidate or that candidate’s personal network. The fundraising burden on candidates keeps too many people from seeking office and leads to a lack of diversity in experience and perspectives in the elected office in Rhode Island.