Board of Elections says they’re ready for Election Day, vote certification process

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R.I. Board of Elections (file photo)

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Election Day is less than a week away and the R.I. Board of Elections (BOE) tells 12 News they are more than prepared to handle the workload.

The BOE is assuring Rhode Island voters and candidates that the state’s voting and election systems are fully prepared for Election Day on Nov. 3 and are also prepared to “efficiently process and count all ballots (in-person, mail, emergency, provisional) and certify final results.”

“With an ongoing pandemic and the huge increase in mail and emergency ballots we’ve seen as a result, this is going to be an unprecedented Election Day, but one that the Rhode Island Board of Elections is fully prepared for,” Executive Director Robert Rapoza said.

Rapoza said as of Thursday morning, the BOE has processed over 175,000 mail ballots and 100,000 emergency ballots.

There are 41 secured drop box locations across the state where voters can drop off completed mail ballots, regardless of which town they are registered to vote in. Click here for the full list »

Voters can check the status of their mail ballot using the Mail Ballot Status Lookup tool on the BOE’s website.

For those who want to plan to vote in person, there are 406 voting locations available and 461 voting machines deployed across the state.

Voters can find their polling location, view sample ballots, or find answers about how to vote can visit the Secretary of State’s Voter Information Center, the Board of Elections’ website or by calling 211.

Rapoza said the BOE has worked hard to train Election Day poll workers and provide all polling locations with Personal Protective Equipment including hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, social distancing placards, and floor markers.

Once all ballots are submitted by the 8 p.m. deadline on Nov. 3, the BOE said they are ready to “efficiently process and count vote totals and report results to the public as quickly as possible.”

“We have more than 50 staff working with us on election night and election week to process and count all ballots – in-person, mail, emergency, provisional – report out results via our website, and ultimately certify final results,” Rapoza said.

The BOE said there will be round-the-clock security at election headquarters. On Election Day, two R.I. State Police officers will be located inside the election headquarters throughout the day.

In partnership with VotingWorks, the BOE will conduct a Risk-Limiting Audit of results to ensure accuracy and safeguard against hacked or otherwise faulty voting systems.

Rapoza said Rhode Island is one of only five states conducting a Risk-Limiting Audit, considered the “gold standard” of post-election auditing.

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