Six recount requests filed with RI Board of Elections

By Bianca Buono

bbuono@abc6.com

@BBuonoABC6

Any candidate wanting a recount for election results is now out of luck. The window to ask for it has closed as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

In total, six requests were filed. It’s now up to the Board of Elections to decide if they’ll move forward with them.

Out of those requests, arguably the biggest is the hotly contested District 15 House seat. After Tuesday’s election and Thursday’s count of mail-in ballots, the unofficial results put Speaker Mattiello on top over his Republican rival Steven Frias by a mere 74 votes.

"From the bottom of my heart I want to thank the citizens of District 15 for their support sending me back for two years,” said House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.

But Frias is saying not so fast. He immediately filed a recount request.

"I hope the board of elections takes it up and refers it to the state police as well. I think there were some issues with the mail ballots in my race,” said Steven Frias.

Frias is not only questioning the narrow margin of victory, but also how Mattiello got there. Mattiello gave a now infamous victory speech on election night, even though he was behind, claiming he knew that he would secure the majority of mail-in votes before they were counted.

"People would go out collect the mail ballots but the notaries we’re not signing them in front of the people who are voting instead the notaries we’re calling the voters is a clear violation of state law,” Frias said.

Frias entered a formal complaint with the Board of Elections last week. Speaker Mattiello told ABC6 he’s not worried about the complaint or a recount.

"If he feels as though that’s important to him he should do it. It’s not going to go anywhere there’s no merit to it,” said Mattiello.

The Board of Elections will meet Wednesday at 7 p.m. to vote on which of the six requests qualify for a recount. The recount will then happen sometime early next week.

© WLNE-TV 2016