PROVIDENCE, RI – Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea is taking a
look back at three centuries of voting with the latest exhibition opening at
the Rhode Island State Archives entitled Voting in Rhode Island: 380 years
of ‘I voted’. The exhibition includes 19th
and 20th century ballots and ballot
readers, including the Mctammany vote tabulator which used player piano
technology to record votes; and the long-standing Shoup Lever Voting Machine
which spawned the term “master lever,” Also on view are original 17th
century documents including election results and the earliest legislation
providing for proxy and absentee voting.
“Elections are the cornerstone of American democracy,” Secretary
Gorbea said. “When Rhode Islanders understand how the mechanics of voting and
the administration of elections have evolved over the course of our state’s
history, they will understand the importance of casting a ballot in the
The State Archives will be open for extended hours on September
25, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in conjunction with National Voter Registration Day.
Elections staff will be on hand to assist eligible Rhode Islanders with voter
registration or registration updates ahead of the November Election.
Finally, to promote civic engagement, an “I’m a Voter” selfie
station is available outside the State Archives so that voters can show their
commitment to voting. Selfie snappers are encouraged to share their pictures
and selfies using the hashtag #BeAVoter on Facebook, Twitter, and
Voting in Rhode Island: 380 years of ‘I
voted’ will run from September 10 through November 23, 2018 at the
Rhode Island State Archives.
Island State Archives, a part of the Rhode Island Department
of State, is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30
p.m. at 337 Westminster Street in downtown Providence. Two-hour validated
parking during business hours is available adjacent to the building at InTown