Nesselbush calls for secret balloting to choose leadership

Nesselbush calls for secret balloting to choose leadership

Sen. Donna Nesselbush, of District 15, Pawtucket and North Providence, has teamed up with senator-elect Sam Bell in Providence to call for a “secret ballot” to elect General Assembly leaders and fix a “broken” system. The secret process is required by Rhode Island law, and is the practice of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

A roll call/voice vote is a problem because of the “antiquated yet robust system of rewards and punishments, alive and well in the Rogue Island General Assembly,” said the two in a release. “The roll call/voice vote allows the winning leadership team to know the identities of those who voted for them and those who voted against them. And then come … the rewards and punishment.”

Instead of “praising all for voting her or his conscience, instead of calling for bygones to be bygones and for Democrats to unite behind the winning leadership team, instead, those who voted for the winning leadership team quickly become the winners and the insiders while the losers and the outsiders head to legislative Siberia,” they added.

Nesselbush told The Breeze this week she thinks there is real momentum for the proposal. She said she’s losing sleep over the prospect that it might actually come to fruition.