Secretary of state hopeful Carlevale backs voter ID

John Carlevale, the Republican candidate for secretary of state, speaks during a taping of WPRI 12's Newsmakers.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Republican candidate for Rhode Island secretary of state says his top reason for running is to defend the state’s new voter ID law, which his Democratic opponents both want to repeal.

John Carlevale, a 70-year-old retired college professor, said asking voters for ID at the polls protects the integrity of the election process. He dismissed concerns expressed by groups such as Common Cause Rhode Island that the law could disenfranchise some voters, saying it’s been implemented thoughtfully by the incumbent, Democrat A. Ralph Mollis.

The two Democratic candidates for secretary of state – Guillaume De Ramel and Nellie Gorbea – both say the voter ID law should be repealed, as do the three leading Democratic candidates for governor.

“I’m running because the position taken by the two Democrat candidates for secretary of state is all wrong,” Carlevale said Friday during a taping of WPRI 12’s Newsmakers. “They’re out of touch with Rhode Islanders and they’re out of touch with the members of the General Assembly, who passed the voter ID law.”

Carlevale is also the producer of “State of the State,” a long-running local public-affairs program that airs on cable-access television. In the past he has been an unsuccessful candidate for a number of offices, including secretary of state, governor and state senator.

Carlevale said he is also interested in increasing the amount of civics education that students receive in Rhode Island, and would work to ensure that lobbying regulations are enforced more strongly in the wake of the 38 Studios debacle.

De Ramel and Gorbea are facing off in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary. The winner will take on Carlevale, who faces no primary opponents, in the November election.

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