Votes from the West Greenwich precinct that had ballot machine problems Tuesday were counted Wednesday at the state Board of Elections in Providence and the results gave Republican Anthony Giarrusso a 148 lead in the race for state House Dist. 30. Board of Elections officials said the mail ballot tally should be in Wednesday late afternoon.
"It's not over," said Giarrusso, who watched the count. "Historically, it seems like absentee ballots do favor Republicans," he noted. "They would need to make up a lot of votes, especially in a three-way race."
Giarrusso was referring to Democrat Mark Schwager, who was only 36 votes behind Giarrusso after the vote count was in last night in East Greenwich. The West Greenwich votes, however, make the math of a Schwager win less likely.
With WG counted, Giarrusso had 3,076 votes; Schwager had 2,928 votes; and independent Kevin McDonough had 821 votes.
According to West Greenwich Board of Canvassers Chair Holly Howard, the problem with the machine Tuesday was one she'd never seen. The internal computer that counts the ballots as they are fed into the machine failed at about 3 p.m., she said. Jammed machines can be fixed on site. This sort of computer problem was not fixable, hence the count in Providence.
Howard and WG Town Clerk Erin Liese took turns feeding the ballots into the box – a total of 555 ballots.
EG Patch will update results as soon as they are available. EG's Mark Curtis of ABC6 was at the Board of Elections Wednesday and interviewed Anthony Giarrusso after the WG count was in – click here for that story.