Rep. Fenton-Fung introduces bill to
require security watermark on mail ballots


STATE HOUSE — Rep. Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung (R-Dist. 15, Cranston) has introduced legislation that would require all official mail ballots to include a watermark for verification purposes.

The legislation (2021-H 6316), which has garnered bipartisan support, would require the Secretary of State to include on all mail ballots it provides, an easily discernable watermark for verification purposes that is also approved by the Board of Elections.

“This bill allows the voter and election officials to ensure that this is an official ballot, and not a replication made for nefarious purposes,” said Representative Fenton-Fung.  “Let’s find common ground and bipartisan approaches to improve the security of our election system when we can; and to that, H 6316 is a great start.”

The bill is modeled on legislation that was recently approved nearly unanimously by the Tennessee state legislature. The bill was touted as a simple and commonsense measure that would prevent election fraud while having little financial impact on the state.

The legislation, which is cosponsored by House Minority Whip Michael W. Chippendale (R-Dist. 40, Foster, Glocester, Coventry), Rep. David J. Place (R-Dist. 47, Burrillville, Glocester), House Minority Leader Blake A. Filippi (R-Dist. 36, New Shoreham, Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly) and Rep. James N. McLaughlin (D-Dist. 57, Cumberland, Central Falls), has been referred to the Committee on State Government and Elections.



For an electronic version of this and all press releases published by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau, please visit our Web site at


Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell thinks the U.S. labor market should gradually improve in coming months. Powell testified in a House hearing and said inflation should be temporary. He cited "supply bottlenecks" as a key reason for the current inflation.       The White House is admitting it may not reach President Biden's goal to have 70-percent of the adult population partially vaccinated by the 4th of July. COVID coordinator Jeff Zients [[ ZYE-entz ]] told reporters that falling short should not undermine the enormous progress that has been made over the past few months. Zients said they will still continue to encourage 18-26 year olds to get vaccinated.       The president of the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee says it's still a possibility no spectators will be allowed at the Games. This comes after yesterday's announcement where Seiko [[ say-KOH ]] Hashimoto said a limited number of locals would be allowed to attend. Hashimoto said they may have to bring down the number of spectators or allow no fans inside venues at all if COVID-19 cases surge.       Connecticut is now 19th state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana. Governor Ned Lamont signed the bill into law Tuesday at the state Capitol in Hartford. The measure was passed by state lawmakers during a special session last week and it legalizes recreational marijuana for adults age 21 and older by July 1st.       Board members of a Colorado town, 50 miles north of Durango, are challenging the mayor's decision to not recite the Pledge of Allegiance at city meetings. Silverton Mayor Shane Fuhrman calls the pledge divisive and unilaterally decided to nix it. During public comments, one woman stood up and asked to recite the pledge and was joined by several others.       Dating app Bumble is giving its entire staff a week off so they can rest and recharge. A spokesperson for the "woman-first dating app" says their entire staff comprising of more than 750 employees will all get a paid week off. The spokesperson said the company's move is aimed at combating employee burnout, and comes in response to COVID vaccination rates increasing and restrictions easing.