‘We are prepared’: Mail ballot counting process well underway at RI Board of Elections

CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – The counting of mail ballots is well underway at the Rhode Island Board of Elections in Cranston ahead of Election Day on November 3.

“The election of 2020 has definitely been a learning experience for all of us involved,” said Bob Rapoza, Executive Director of the Board of Elections.

Rapoza said so far the Board of Elections has received approximately 149,000 mail ballots. Around 175,000 Rhode Islanders requested a mail ballot this year, according to Rapoza.

Of those received, 94,000 have been counted using the Board of Elections’ brand new high-speed processing machines.

“The envelopes are opened, the ballots are removed, they are kept in city and town order,” Rapoza explained. They’re organized that way in case a recount is needed.

Unlike previous years, when mail ballot results wouldn’t come out until every last one was counted, the Board of Elections will be sharing the results of the ballots processed on their website before 11 p.m. on November 3.

“For the first time, you actually should get results quicker,” Rapoza said. “We are prepared. We want everyone that is registered to come out and exercise their right.”

And whichever way people are voting, voters are showing up in full force this year to exercise that right.

“As of 1 o’clock today, 123,500 voters have visited the Board of Canvassers in the 39 communities statewide. We are expecting a turnout of 72%. That is our projection.”

It’s now too late to vote by mail, but ballots can still be dropped off in secure drop boxes at city and town halls. Early voting is taking place until Monday at 4 p.m. at city and town halls.

© WLNE-TV 2020

Categories: Cranston, News, Providence, Rhode Island