The Rhode Island Board of Elections held a hearing on Monday to review approximately 230 mail ballots from the Rhode Island Senate District 13 (Jamestown, Newport) race that held a Special Election on August 22nd.
The Board requested a review because they had never seen so many mail ballots notarized by a single person, according to a press release from Dawn Euer’s campaign.
Vanessa Soares, a Rhode Island notary who worked on behalf of Dawn Euer’s campaign, provided testimony that outlined her process for helping people apply for mail ballots and then provide the notary certification.
She remarked: “It’s so important that we do more to make voting easier and more accessible. My friends and neighbors work multiple jobs, are caring for kids or their loved ones, and that makes it hard to get to the polls during the hours that they are open. I am proud that I was able to help people participate in democracy and make sure their voices were heard and that their votes counted.”
After hearing testimony from Vanessa Soares and a voter from District 13, the Board of Elections found Ms. Soares to be a credible witness who followed proper procedures. They unanimously voted to allow the mail ballots to be counted. A total of 229 ballots were counted: 225 for Dawn Euer, 3 for Mike Smith, 1 for Kimberly Ripoli, and 0 for Gregory Larson which changes the overall vote percentages to: Dawn Euer 61%, Mike Smith 36%, Kimberly Ripoli 2%, and less than 1% for Gregory Larson and write-ins.
Dawn Euer stated: “Voting rights are under attack across our country and we must defend this bedrock principle. Vanessa Soares is one of the hardest working people I have ever met and I am proud of the work that she and my team did to help people access to their right to vote.”
The following results of the August 22nd Special Election are still unofficial, according to Newport’s Board of Canvassers.
Dawn Euer, the Democratic upstart who won over three primary election rivals earlier this summer, easily won the special election to replace long-time State Senator M. Teresa Paiva Weed, who resigned her District 13 seat (Newport, Jamestown) in the spring to become executive director of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island.
Euer, a lawyer, won every polling place in Newport and Jamestown to easily outdistance Republican Michael Smith, Independent Kim Ripoli, and Green Party candidate Gregory Larson.
Euer will officially be sworn in to represent the people of Newport and Jamestown on Tuesday, September 5th at 3 pm.