2017-08-31 / News

Protested votes OK’d by board of elections

Following a hearing Monday by the Rhode Island Board of Elections, the state has confirmed 230 mail ballots were legally cast, pushing Dawn Euer’s winning percentage to about 61 percent.

Euer handily won last week’s four-way special election for Teresa Paiva Weed’s vacated District 13 Senate seat, although scores of mail ballots were protested because they all were notarized by the same woman, Vanessa Soares. Following testimony from Soares, a District 13 voter, the board found her to be a credible witness who was working on behalf of Euer’s campaign. Soares’ job was to encourage residents to vote during the unprecedented election.

During her testimony, Soares outlined her process for helping people apply for mail ballots and then providing the notary certification. She said she did this “to make voting easier and more accessible” and “to help people participate in democracy.”

The board unanimously voted to allow the mail ballots. A total of 229 ballots were counted with 225 for Euer, three for Republican Mike Smith, one for independent Kimberly Ripoli and none for Green Party candidate Gregory Larson. With the ballots counted, the overall vote percentages were changed 61 percent for Euer; Smith, 36 percent; Ripoli, 2 percent; and less than 1 percent for Larson and write-ins.

Return to top