Second Chances for Incumbents
Yeah, it’s not difficult to see where this is going:
In a court-ordered recount yesterday, victories by Michael J. Pinga and Erin C. Lynch were upheld by the Board of Elections, but state Sen. Stephen D. Alves’ quest to retain his seat on Smith Hill isn’t over just yet.
After already recounting the votes from the primary elections in Warwick and West Warwick a month ago, the state Supreme Court demanded they be counted again, this time including all regular, mail and provisional ballots.
Pinga still beat Alves, the Senate Finance chairman, this time by 17 votes…
Alves has asked the state Supreme Court to order an entirely new election. His appeal is based on 18 questionable ballots that were cast in the primary election — 15 of which were cast by Republicans voting in the Democratic primary. And there were three fewer signed voter forms than there were ballots cast.
Because there are more questionable ballots than Pinga’s margin of victory, Taveras says a new election is warranted.
So, they tried a few different recount methods until they got one that achieved the “questionable ballot” threshold, and now they’ll seek a redo. The interesting behind-the-scenes question (should the legislature’s investment in judicial goodwill pay off for Alves) is whether the unions that endorsed Pinga will consider Alves duly chastened and in-hand and give him his seat back.