R.I. Primary results expected Wednesday or Thursday after record number of ballots mailed-in

CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – Rhode Island’s Board of Elections is not expected to finish counting primary ballots until Wednesday or Thursday, according to Secretary of State, Nellie Gorbea.

Gorbea tells ABC 6 that as of 1pm Tuesday afternoon, the board had received 32,000 mail-in ballots and more are still coming in.

“In the past elections — 2016 and 2012 — we only had about 4,000 mail-in ballots,” said Gorbea. “So 32,000 is a huge increase.”

By 2pm Tuesday afternoon, nearly 17,000 Rhode Islanders had cast their ballots in person.

Roughly 6,400 voted in-person early this year.

“Health and safety is our number one concern,” said Gorbea. “Along with making sure people can cast that ballot.”

Polling locations looked different this year for Rhode Islander who voted in person.

“They had disposable pens for everyone to use, a stylus so you can sign your name without touching anything,” said Melaina Murphy from East Providence.

Many polling sites were also equipped with plexiglass dividers and plenty of hand sanitizer.

“Very simple, very safe,” said Murphy.

For the last month, the state has been urging voters to vote by mail, even doing away with its witness and notary system to make absentee voting easier.

“Patience is definitely a key word this election cycle,” said Secretary of State Gorbea. “It’s going to take a little bit more time and it’s going to be fine,” she said.

“It will be an election that keep everybody healthy and that Rhode Islanders can trust.”

(c) WLNE-TV // ABC 6  2020

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Politics, Rhode Island