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Biden wins R.I., AP projects

On the back of record turnout in the state, Biden projected winner

Former Vice President Joe Biden was projected to be the winner in Rhode Island’s presidential race by the Associated Press, presumptively granting Biden the state’s four votes in the Electoral College.

AP called the Rhode Island presidential election around 8 p.m. on Election Day. At that time, few votes had been reported around the state, as polls close in Rhode Island at 8 p.m. Results are available on the Board of Elections website as they are released.

Rhode Island saw record turnout in the 2020 election. With at least 482,082 votes cast by 6:50 p.m., voters in the Ocean State surpassed the previous record of 475,428 votes set in 2008. This year, there were over 800,000 registered voters in the state, according to data from Gorbea’s office. 

Record turnout in the state was partially driven by unprecedented levels of early voting, both by mail and in person. As of Nov. 2, 305,724 Rhode Islanders had voted, including 156,178 by mail and 149,546 early in person, according to data from R.I. Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea.

Before Election Day, Rhode Island already had a voter turnout of 37.7 percent, totaling over 60 percent of 2016 turnout and over three-quarters of 2018 turnout. 

With Election Day in-person votes, Rhode Islanders shattered the previous record by at least 6,000 votes. While in-person Election Day votes are tallied in Rhode Island when polls close, Gorbea’s office will release results of most mail-in ballots at 11 p.m. on election night. 

Democrats disproportionately voted early in-person and by mail, The Herald previously reported. So, before mail-in ballots are reported by Gorbea’s office, statewide totals are likely to lean more toward Republicans.

Rhode Island has chosen a Democrat for president in every election since 1984.

AP also projected that Sen. Jack Reed won his reelection race against Republican Allen Waters. 

In the House, both Rep. David Cicilline '83 (D-RI) in the first congressional district and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) in the second congressional district are up for reelection — Cicilline for his sixth term, and Langevin for his 11th. Cicilline is challenged by independents Frederick Wysocki and Jeffrey Lemire, while Langevin faces Republican Robert Lancia. Neither of these races has been called.

Another major statewide result — the decision on Question 1, which would officially change the state’s name from “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” to “State of Rhode Island” — remains up in the air.


Ben Glickman

Ben Glickman was the 132nd editor-in-chief and president of The Brown Daily Herald. He previously served as a metro editor and oversaw the College Hill and Fox Point beat, in addition to writing and editing about city politics, COVID-19 and the 2020 election. He is the co-creator of the Bruno Brief, The Herald's first news podcast. In his free time, he is passionate about birds (also tweeting) and eating way too spicy food. 


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