The fight over Rhode Island’s new voter identification law continued for three days after Governor Chafee quietly signed the legislation, with opponents saying they were led by the governor’s office to believe they still had a fighting chance.
A week earlier, Democratic North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue vetoed a voter-ID bill passed by her state’s Republican-controlled legislature, saying it would “unnecessarily and unfairly disenfranchise many eligible and legitimate voters.”
But there was no such opposition from Chafee in Rhode Island, where Democrats overwhelmingly control the House and Senate. Democratic House Speaker Gordon D. Fox was one of the co-sponsors of the new voter-identification law, along with Democrat Jon Brien, of Woonsocket, and Republicans Joseph Trillo, of Warwick, and Doreen Costa, of North Kingstown. The Senate version was sponsored by Sen. Harold Metts, a Providence Democrat.