Town awaits final results of its two write-in races

Town awaits final results of its two write-in races

CUMBERLAND – Candidates for two local write-in races were still waiting for the results of the Nov. 3 election this week, as delays continued to slow the process.

Town Clerk Sandra Giovanelli said Tuesday that she’d been hearing from some candidates almost daily inquiring who won for School Committee in District 4 and Fire District 1, neither of which had official declared candidates.

Amy Rogalski and Dan Pedro were the two known candidates seeking write-in votes for the non-partisan school board seat, and the Fire Board race had several candidates.

Chris Hunter, representing the Rhode Island Board of Elections, said Monday afternoon that the board had just started tabulating write-ins for Cumberland, Warren and Tiverton, the three communities with contests dependent on the write-in tallies.

“This may take up to a week to complete,” he said, confirming local officials’ assertions that the elections might not be certified until the Monday before Thanksgiving.

Local boards tally write-ins cast at the polls, but those tally sheets had not been compiled as of Monday, said Hunter.

Giovanelli said there were some 7,000 mail ballot applications, but she doesn’t know how many ballots were actually submitted.

The Board of Canvassers and staff manages write-ins cast by in-person voters, she said, while the Board of Elections manages write-ins on mail ballots.

Giovanelli said she heard from state officials that the process was proving to be a bit more involved than earlier anticipated, and her office was “a little in the dark with what’s happening.” She said she has “no idea” who might have come out on top in either race, emphasizing that the mail ballot counts could completely change the results after the in-person votes.