Speaker Mattiello wins District 15

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – After a bitter battle in Cranston, Speaker Nick Mattiello will keep representing District 15, but his opponent Steve Frias isn’t giving up the fight just yet.

The final non- certified count has Mattiello ahead by 85 votes. 3,611 to 3,526.

The recount of ballots for the District 15 seat took a strange twist Monday when Board of Elections workers discovered 200 plus ballots were missing.

"When you look at the number of moving parts in this election process and how many people are at the polls working these things happen,” said the Vice Chair of the Board of Elections Diane Mederos.

The missing ballots where eventually found and read into the record after workers discovered they were placed into a mislabeled box.

"They had been sealed so no one had touched them in the interim,” said Mederos.

The confusion did cause a delay in the count in what has been a highly contentious race.

You’ll recall, House Speaker Nick Mattiello initially declared victory on election night, despite being behind…

His confidence in mail in ballot numbers.. led his challenger Steven Frias to suspect fraud and demand an investigation.

"We alleged that there is ballot irregularity within the mail in ballots,” said RI GOP Chair Brandon Bell.

Even though the end result on Monday placed Speaker Mattiello ahead, Bell isn’t ready to through in the towel. He wants all of the mail in ballots inspected before they are certified next week.

"We’d like to take a look at all of the ballot applications; the envelopes and the ballots themselves. We believe we’re entitled to do that,” said Bell.

Speaker Mattiello’s attorney denying allegations of fraud saying he is confident that the victory will stick.

"we don’t believe there’s any merit to those accusations,” said Michael DiChiro.

Speaker Mattielo released this statement following the re-count: "I’m pleased that the Board of Elections recount reaffirms our successful campaign to continue to represent the citizens of District 15 in Cranston.  I look forward to a productive year with my colleagues in the House, and pledge to continue to work hard on issues of concern to my constituents, most notably reduction and eventual elimination of the onerous car tax."

© WLNE-TV 2016