Police officers among RI voters not registered at home address

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A post office in Cranston. A hotel in Warwick. Providence police headquarters. These are just some the places Rhode Islanders are registered to vote, even though state law requires them to register at their home addresses.

Eyewitness News on Friday obtained a list of 125 registered voters with the wrong address on record, some of whom are members of law enforcement.

The list was compiled by former gubernatorial candidate Ken Block and provided to Eyewitness News by the state Board of Elections.

It also showed voters registered at commercial, industrial, and even vacant land.

“It’s a little bit more widespread than I expected,” said John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, a government watchdog group.

Marion said it’s been years since someone’s been prosecuted for this in Rhode Island.

“Law enforcement, we expect to be well aware of the laws that they have to obey,” he added.

A spokesperson for the Providence Police Department released a statement to Eyewitness News on Friday, saying the issue has been brought to the attention of the officers in question.

“These officers updated their addresses for identification with the DMV as allowed, not for voting purposes. Once brought to our attention all officers were asked to check their voter registration to remedy the issue.”

As far as the others on the list, the Board of Elections and local boards of canvassers are now investigating.

“Are these clerical errors, or are they actual people trying to defraud the system?” asked Marion.

The Board of Elections said there’s no time frame for how long the investigation might take.

The office of Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea said they’ll be working to remove non-residential addresses from the voter rolls to avoid people from registering there in the future.