The Rhode Island State Police and the West Warwick Primary
The Projo‘s Talia Buford has details on the Rhode Island State Police’s explanation of why there is an investigation into the Michael Pinga/Stephen Alves Democratic primary, but not into the Erin Lynch/David Bennett result…
The complaint filed by Democratic Party Chairman William Lynch asked the State Police to investigate “voter irregularities” in both the Warwick and West Warwick Democratic primaries. In the complaint, Lynch offered anecdotal evidence of people impersonating registered voters and fraudulently voting in the Alves’ race, and made reference to Republicans who voted “knowingly and intentionally” in both Democratic primaries.
State police are looking into both cases, but Lt. Col. Steven O’Donnell said that evidence offered in the Alves case gave police more to go on than the sweeping allegations lobbed in the Warwick case.
“It’s hard in any election to chase leads that may or may not exist,” O’Donnell said. “We tried to go after substantiated information, rather than fishing expeditions.”
In addition to Lynch’s letter, police received several anonymous letters that laid out alleged violations that residents said occurred during the primaries, though O’Donnell would not elaborate. In recent days, troopers have visited residents at Msgr. DeAngelis Manor in West Warwick because, O’Donnell said, complaints came in that residents voted in the primary who shouldn’t have voted, and that some votes were influenced prior to the election….
Records show that at least 10 voters listed as Republicans with the West Warwick Board of Canvassers voted in the Democratic primary. The Providence Journal attempted to reach those listed and found that four of them said they’d disaffiliated in a previous primary and were listed as Republicans incorrectly. Five others could not be reached or declined to comment, and one voter, a Republican, said he was told his vote was taken out of the ballot box after he was mistakenly allowed to cast a ballot.