By Steve Klamkin WPRO News
Technical glitches at some polling places, heavy downpours and a change in voting to a Wednesday did not deter voters from heading to the polls for Rhode Island’s primary elections.
“We’ve actually had just over 60,000 people vote as of 12:43,” Rhode Island’s Deputy Director of Elections Miguel Nunez said early Wednesday afternoon. He added, there were some minor problems at a limited number of polling places.
“We have some stricter security policies with some more higher complexity passwords, and some of the poll workers either had some problem putting the higher complexity password into the machine or they could not locate it in their supplies,” Nunez said.
At the Nathan Bishop Middle School on the East Side of Providence, the one election machine jammed for a time, leaving some 20 voters waiting in line until a poll moderator collected their ballots, and put it into the machine for later submission.
Within minutes after a reporter tweeted about the problem, the Rhode Island Board of Elections replied in a Tweet, “A state technician is en route to this location and should arrive in 5 minutes.”
That was followed a short time later by another tweet, “This issue has been resolved by our technician. A ballot was jammed and damaged. Machine is operating again.” The repairs were verified by Common Cause of Rhode Island Executive Director John Marion, who waited in line to vote when the glitch occurred, and stayed until it was cleared.
Among those who also left their ballots behind were Gov. Gina Raimondo (D-RI) and her husband, Andy Moffit and Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI1).
Some of the candidates made a public show of casting their ballots.
As Gov. Raimondo voted in Providence, she repeated her insistence that a vote for her opponents constitutes a vote against jobs.
“The people I’m running against oppose those economic development policies. If they undo them, I think a lot of people will lose their jobs,” she told reporters.
“Those are scare tactics,” said Matt Brown, one of her Democratic primary challengers on WPRO.
“That’s the kind of negativity that she’s chosen to carry on in this campaign,” said Brown.
Brown’s campaign sent out an email at mid-day, touting support from feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
Earlier, Aaron Regunberg, the Democratic candidate challenging incumbent Lieutenant Governor Dan McKee shared an email from “Team Bernie”, highlighting an endorsement from Vermont’s Independent Senator Bernie Sanders.
Republican Candidate for governor, Mayor Allan Fung was surrounded by sign-waving supporters as he cast his vote at Hope Highlands Middle School in Cranston.
“People are going in, giving me their thumbs up sign. I’m proud to have their support.”
He skirted questions about whether, should he win the primary, he would welcome support of President Donald Trump, or would ask him not to come to Rhode Island to campaign on his behalf.
“I’m not saying anything to the President. He’s focused on Senate and House races, I’m focused on Rhode Island.” Fung added that he has not spoken with the President during the campaign.
One of his Republican opponents, State Rep. Patricia Morgan expressed confidence as she spoke on WPRO.
“I am very close to winning. I don’t take anything for granted, but I’m very, very close to winning,” Morgan said.
Also running for governor are Democrat Spencer Dickinson and Republican Giovanni Feroce.
Polls in Rhode Island close at 8:00 P.M.