NARRAGANSETT/NORTH KINGSTOWN - Alana DiMario holds a steady lead over Ellen Waxman in the Democratic Primary race for Rhode Island Senate District 36 (Narragansett, North Kingstown), though a number of mail-in ballots have yet to be counted.

As of Thursday morning, DiMario had received 1,080 votes (71.3 percent) compared to Waxman's 435 votes (28.7 percent). Results were last updated Wednesday at approximately 2:00 p.m.

In a statement, Waxman noted statewide progressive victories (DiMario is a progressive) and wished her opponent well. 

"The Democratic Primary was a huge win for progressives in Rhode Island, in part made possible by multiple progressive organizations coalescing for the advancement of their candidates," said Waxman. "This political force made it challenging for someone such as myself, who committed to not accepting donations from PACs. I’m proud of the fact that my opponent and I ran a fair and civil competition. I wish Alana DiMario much success as the next district 36 State Senator." 

 DiMario said the early results reflected the dedication of her campaign.

"I am so proud of the hard work my campaign and I have put in to connect to the community and engage people across the district,” she said. “We have run a positive, forward-focused, issues-based campaign that has built a broad coalition of support in both Narragansett and North Kingstown. The early vote totals show that people in District 36 want a State Senator who will listen, and who shares their priorities of economic opportunity, smart environmental policies, and educational equity.”

“If I am the Democratic candidate, I will work to earn the trust and support of Ms. Waxman's supporters and anyone else I haven't reached as we head toward the General Election in November,” DiMario added. “I truly believe there is more that unites us than divides us in these hard times, and I will continue to campaign in that spirit."

While most polls around the state closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday, the Rhode Island Board of Elections (BOE) released a statement shortly after that results from the state's Primary Election would become available "over the next several days," with the Board noting some mail-in ballots and other votes from emergency voting periods spurred by the pandemic had yet to be counted.

"These are ballots cast at the Boards of Canvassers in City/Town Halls since the Emergency Voting period began on Aug. 19," the BOE's statement reads on emergency voting. "These results will be transmitted by local Boards of Canvassers to the Board of Elections on the morning of Sept. 9 due to how our tabulation systems had to be securely configured to produce these results separately." 

"While the Board expects to count most mail ballots by Sept. 8, ballots placed in authorized drop boxes at City/Town Halls or in polling places must still be tabulated," the release continues. "These ballots are sealed in envelopes and held in secure and sealed containers by the local Board of Canvassers and will be delivered to the Board of Elections by noon on Sept. 9. Once these ballots have been processed, mail ballot results will be posted to our website. We expect this to occur by Sept. 10, depending on the volume of ballots received in drop boxes."

The state had a large number of mail-in and emergency ballots this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Narragansett, with five out of five precincts reporting in, DiMario has received 356 votes (79.5 percent) compared to Waxman's 92 votes (20.5 percent). Official numbers show 270 in-person votes and 86 emergency ballots in favor of DiMario against Waxman’s 72 in-person votes and 20 emergency ballots. 

In North Kingstown, with four out of four precincts reporting, 724 votes have been cast for DiMario (67.9 percent) compared to 343 votes (32.1 percent) for Waxman. DiMario has thus far received 527 in-person ballots and 42 emergency ballots in her favor against Waxman’s 283 in-person votes and 60 emergency ballots.  

The winner of the race, likely to be DiMario, will face off in November against Republican Doreen Costa and Independent and Narragansett Town Council President Matthew Mannix. All results are still unofficial as of this time.   

The Rhode Island Senate District 36 seat was previously held by Democrat James Sheehan, who is not seeking re-election in 2020.

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