Rhody Votes '16

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Republican challenger Steven Frias edged Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello in voting Tuesday, but Mattiello said he received more than enough mail ballots to ensure him a victory. With the mail ballots yet to be certified by the state Board of Elections, Frias did not concede defeat.

Unofficial results showed Frias beat Mattiello by 147 voters through tallies cast on voting machines. Mattiello's campaign team said the speaker was the choice of more than 500 people who used mail ballots to vote, in what they called an insurance policy for a Mattiello victory.

Elisabeth Harrison

This week, in our RhodyVotes ’16 election coverage, we aired a conversation with Republicans about why they do, or do not, support Donald Trump. One piece of the conversation ended up on the cutting room floor, but it raised interesting questions about immigration. We’re going to spend a few minutes discussing those comments now.

RhodyVotes '16: Rhode Islanders Go To The Polls

Nov 8, 2016
John Bender / RIPR

Preliminary results for Rhode Island's General Election show Democrat Hillary Clinton leading Republican Donald Trump. A ballot measure for a casino in Tiverton appears headed for passage. And voters have approved bond issues for port upgrades, green space, the state Veteran's home and construction at the University of Rhode Island. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democrats have dominated the General Assembly since the 1930s. So will an angry electorate produce Republican gains on Smith Hill?

Let’s start in House District 12, which includes the heavily Latino Washington Park section of Providence. Being able to speak Spanish comes in handy when independent state rep candidate Luis Vargas goes knocking on doors in search of votes.

Elisabeth Harrison

Across the country, teachers have been seizing on this election as an opportunity to bring civics to life in their classrooms. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison checked in with Rhode Island teachers to find out how they're approaching a contentious political season.

John Bender / RIPR

  • Polls open at 7 o’clock Tuesday morning for Rhode Island voters in the presidential and local elections. Across the state, polls remain open until 8  p.m.
  • Don’t know where to vote? The secretary of state’s office has a website where you can check. All you need is a home address.
  • If you forgot to register to vote, you can still cast a ballot for president.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Two polling precinct areas in Rhode Island will be part of the federal Department Of Justice’s effort to enforce voting rights laws. The agency plans to deploy some 500 workers in 28 states across the U.S. to make sure elections are run fairly. Federal workers are set to monitor polls in Providence and Pawtucket.

The monitors are tasked with helping protect against fraud, as well as incidents of voter harassment or intimidation.

John Bender / RIPR

Over the last few months we’ve brought you our series “Speaking Across Difference,” the stories of Rhode Islanders bridging divides of religion, socio-economic status and more.

John Bender / RIPR

Proponents of the law say it reduces the possibility of voter fraud. Critics of voter ID laws across the country have said they unfairly discriminate against minority communities and the elderly; those who may not have ready access to an ID.

John Marion of the good government non-profit Common Cause Rhode Island says his organization will be watching the election closely.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

On Tuesday, voters will decide whether to fund improvements at two of Rhode Island’s ports. It’s Question 5 on the ballot for a bond that would modernize Pier 2 at the Port of Davisville in Quonset, and expand the Port of Providence. Rhode Island Public Radio Environmental Reporter Ambar Espinoza met with port officials and environmentalists to learn what’s at stake. 

State of Rhode Island

State leaders are touting their support for a $27 million bond for the construction of a new state veteran’s home. The Bristol home will serve more than 200 elderly veterans.

Voters approved a$ 94 million bond for the home in 2012, but costs swelled as the state worked to comply with federal guidelines. If the bond is approved, the state will spend less money than originally budgeted for the project, due to federal matching funds.

State department of Veterans Affairs spokesman Michael Jolin said the new home will provide both medical care and shelter.


Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and his Republican rival, Steven Frias, squared off during a televised debate Friday. Cranston voters will pick between the two candidates on Tuesday.

Mattiello and Frias fought on a series of issues during the 30-minute debate on WPRI-TV, Channel 12. Mattiello says tax cuts he’s supported have moved up Rhode Island about seven ranks from the bottom in a national business survey. Frias responded by saying that’s like going from an F grade to an F-minus.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line. 

This week, Dave speaks with Dr. Patrick T. Kelly, Associate Professor of Accountancy at Providence College School of Business.

BU Rob13, Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons License

After a toxic presidential campaign, the national question will become how to unite a fractured country. Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay says Rhode Islanders will hopefully be better at this than other states.