Electoral council votes to count thousands of ballots in Cranston

CRANSTON, RI – Just before the Election Council votes on Wednesday to compile the 9,353 emergency ballots in Cranston, House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello, longtime House District Democrat 15 , conceded the race to his Republican opponent, Barbara Ann Fenton -Fung.

The tabulation did take place anyway – a memory card in an advance polling machine hit its limit last week, forcing the city to send all paper ballots to the election station after the polls closed on Tuesday night . The tally started at noon on Wednesday and by the end of the afternoon the additional emergency ballots slightly increased Fenton-Fung’s lead to 18% over Mattiello. Otherwise, no results have changed for any of the political races or voting issues in Cranston.

Ballot counts will be added to totals today through tomorrow, provisional ballot counts will be added from November 7 to 9, and effective mail-in ballots processed by voters will be added by November 10. Three presidential elections, holding one election during a pandemic have tested voting systems across the state, Council of Elections executive director Robert Rapoza said.

There has been a sharp increase in the number of postal ballots and emergency voters in early voting before election day. With an average turnout of 60.6 percent, 18.7 percent (150,250 people) voted by post and 17.4 percent (140,250 people) voted early.

The Electoral Council now collects and compiles ballots from all drop boxes in the 39 communities, as well as redone ballots, ballots torn by signature verification machines or postal ballot compilation equipment , and qualified provisional ballots.

Cranston was the only community that struggled to report its results to the Election Council, Rapoza said.

Amanda Milkovits can be contacted at amanda.milkovits@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMilkovits.

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