Chapman calls for recount in East Providence Rep District 65

House District 65 candidate Tim Chapman (center) awaits the results from Tuesday's Primary at Phillips Street Hall. Mr. Chapman has filed for a recount of his 61-vote loss to Gregg Amore in the Democratic Primary Election. House District 65 candidate Tim Chapman (center) awaits the results from Tuesday's Primary at Phillips Street Hall. Mr. Chapman has filed for a recount of his 61-vote loss to Gregg Amore in the Democratic Primary Election.

House District 65 candidate Tim Chapman awaits the results from Tuesday’s Primary at Phillips Street Hall. Mr. Chapman has filed for a recount of his 61-vote loss to Gregg Amore in the Democratic Primary Election.

EAST PROVIDENCE — The endorsed Democratic candidate in the East Providence State House of Representatives District 65 race, Tim Chapman, has asked for a recount of his losing effort against Gregg Amore in Tuesday’s primary election.

Mr. Amore received 845 votes, good for 40.5 percent of the tally. Mr. Chapman finished second in the three-way race with 784 votes for 37.6 percent. Jim Miller finished third with 456 votes for 21.9 percent.

Also of note from the recount discussion, Rep. Roberto DaSilva opted not to challenge his 70-vote loss to incumbent Sen. Daniel DaPonte in the Democratic District 14 race.

“Yes, I did ask for the recount,” Mr. Chapman confirmed in a phone call just before the 4 p.m. filing deadline Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 12.

“I felt that I had to do it,” he continued. “I had a lot of people work very hard for the campaign over the last few months and I thought I owed it to them. Quite frankly, the amount of votes I lost by (61) made me think I should do it and I had a lot of other people urging me to go forward.”

Mr. Amore, also reached by phone Wednesday, said he expected Mr. Chapman to ask for a recount because of the relatively narrow margin of victory. He said he will be represented by legal counsel and campaign workers, as will Mr. Chapman, at the recount.

The State Board of Elections has determined on the surface the House 65 race warrants only a reread of the results not a full recount, meaning a simple check of the computer cartridges from each of the five polling precincts in the district is all that will be done. Recounts from around the state are scheduled for Monday, Sept. 17, beginning at 9 a.m.

If there is a change of as little as one vote in Mr. Chapman’s favor upon the reread, he has the right to call for a complete re-feed of all ballots in the election. He must then ask for the re-feed by Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 4 p.m.

Tuesday’s missteps by poll workers in East Providence, where a handful of Democratic primary ballots were given to registered Republicans who proceeded to cast their votes, also played a part in Mr. Chapman’s decision.

“I don’t know. The irregularities may call into question the results,” Mr. Chapman added. “I think the Board of Elections should look into it, do as much as they need to do to make sure the results are what were supposed to be. And again, I had so many people work hard for the campaign, I thought I owed it to them and myself to ask for the recount.”

Election Notebook

* Tuesday wasn’t the best day for East Providence’s already beleaguered reputation. Besides the voting issues, city election officials had a couple of rough patches, including in the House 65 race when they failed to report the results of the controversial Kent Heights precinct to the Board of Elections.

Mr. Amore’s home base voted overwhelming for its local candidate, giving him 418 votes to just 233 for Mr. Chapman. However, those numbers weren’t counted when other media outlets called the race in Mr. Chapman’s favor. The outlets were going off the incomplete numbers given by the city to the board and then posted on its website as well as that of the Secretary of State.

* City election officials also had difficulty getting the final numbers from the City Hall precinct. There appeared to be some sort of transmission issues in regards to sending the results to the Board of Elections.

* Clarifying the timeline of events at the Kent Heights precinct. A checker for the DaSilva campaign noted the giving of blue Democratic primary ballots to registered Republicans instead of the non-partisan white ballot for the City Council Ward 3 race in which they were eligible to vote.

Upon finding out the details, the Board of Elections initially wanted to send a State Police officer to the scene, but eventually opted not to do so. Later in the day and after having received another report of mistakes at Kent Heights, a Board of Elections staff member arrived to the site at about 4 p.m. and remained there for the final four hours of voting. In addition, an East Providence Police officer was called to the site to patrol the area.

Some more quotes

The following are a few more quotes from Tuesday that didn’t fit into The Post’s primary election story…

“When you’re dealing with an $8 billion budget that needs to be balanced, you have to make difficult decisions and you’re not going to please everybody,” Sen. DaPonte said following his win over Rep. DaSilva. “It’s lot easier to be a back-bencher and criticize decisions as opposed to being in leadership and needing to make those tough calls.”

Rep. DaSilva, who was on the fence about calling for a recount late Tuesday night, had this to say about the amount of money spent in and the negativity around the campaign, and particularly those backing his opponent, “I still feel we had a great victory in the face of some very powerful interests.”

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2 Comments

  1. Felixx said:

    Will the state board of elections look into this further? How many Republicans actually voted in this Democratic Primary? Is there any way to tell how many illegal votes were cast? What is the EP Board of Canvassers going to do to insure these types of occurances do not repeat in November? Did anyone check the other polling places or just Kent Heights? If there were more than just the “handful” of ballots cast, could this change the results of ALL the campaigns? Why do I have more questions than answers from this news report?

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