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1540 Updates

Rhode Island to accept voters' tribal ID cards

Members of the Narragansett Indian Tribe will be allowed to use their tribal identification cards when voting in Rhode Island.

The state Board of Elections Wednesday approved a directive ordering local election boards to accept the cards.

Rhode Island passed a law in 2011 requiring voters to show a photo ID before casting a ballot.

State law says poll workers can accept a variety of forms of identification, including driver's licenses and U.S. passports, but there was no mention of cards issued by federally recognized tribes such as the Narragansett.

Loren Spears says she tried to use her tribal ID at her Charlestown polling place in September's primary but was denied. She provided her driver's license instead but says not everyone has one.

Rhode Island Features


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