Cranston emergency ballots re-fed; Board of Elections still counting mail ballots

CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – While votes are being counted across the country, they’re also still being counted here in Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island Board of Elections is still counting mail ballots from drop boxes across the state and finished up counting emergency ballots in one municipality Wednesday afternoon.

Executive Director of the RI Board of Elections Bob Rapoza said around 9,000 emergency ballots from the city of Cranston were not counted on election night due to a technical issue.

“There was a problem with the USB drive, and when we went to tabulate, total out that machine, we couldn’t do so because the USB drive could not accept any more ballots,” Raposa explained.

The board voted Wednesday morning to re-feed the ballots into the Board of Elections’ high-speed machines Wednesday afternoon. After a few hours, all of the votes were counted.

“They’re just taking the ballots that were cast in Cranston over the last 20 days and they’re putting them through our mail ballot high-speed tabulator because it has the ability to process a lot of ballots and to expedite the results.”

There are also some outstanding mail ballots, Raposa said, that will be counted Thursday and possibly into Friday.

“We have three teams out on the road right now. They’re in Board of Elections vehicles, they are picking up the ballots and bringing them back here where they will be certified and tabulated most likely tomorrow.”

Aside from the hiccup in Cranston, he said election day was an overall success.

He said voter turnout was around 60%, which he considers average compared to previous presidential elections.

“I’m hoping that the public saw the effort that goes into the preparation and conduct of the election from the Board of Elections.”

While counting could finish up this week, races will not be certified until after the week of November 16.

© WLNE-TV 2020

Categories: Cranston, News, Regional News, Rhode Island