by Mark Curtis, ABC 6 Chief Political Reporter
The morning after election night, and once again they are counting ballots at the board of elections in a Rhode Island cliffhanger.
The race between Democrat Mark Schwager, independent Kevin McDonough and Republican Anthony Giarrusso, for the District 30 House seat in East and West Greenwich, had a big problem.
"There was a mechanical malfunction of a machine at a precinct in West Greenwich. It was not tallying the vote correctly," said Chuck Newton, from the East Greenwich GOP Town Committee.
So the Board of Elections had to count those West Greenwich ballots a day late.
"This is another example of every vote counts. After all the ballots were counted in East Greenwich, the leader was ahead by 36 votes. But now these West Greenwich votes could determine the outcome."
The leader, Republican Anthony Giarrusso, nervously watched the new ballot count as did observers from both political parties.
"Having to handle all these votes in such a short period of time, I am very satisfied that it's an open and honest procedure," said Tom Plunkett of the East Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.
And, after all the East Greenwich and West Greenwich ballots were tallied, Anthony Giarrusso won, pending the count of absentee ballots.
The newly elected State Rep is an immigrant who came to this country, as a child from Italy.
"Well it's the American dream. It really is. It's everything we always aspire to do. We come to the United States and we want to make a difference. And we work hard and we learn the language – that's very important to me. and you know, anything can happen," said State Rep.-Elect Anthony Giarrusso, (R) East Greenwich.
Giarrusso will be officially sworn into the General Assembly in January.