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Windsor Woman’s Vote Could Decide Election

by Christine Stuart | Sep 18, 2012 10:23pm
(2) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2012, Town News, Hartford, Windsor

Christine Stuart photo

John Kennelly, center, looks on with Deputy Windsor Mayor Al Simon as Olga Vazquez counts the ballots

Rumors of an elderly Windsor woman’s death have been greatly exaggerated, and since she’s still alive it’s possible her vote which is still sealed could decide the Democratic primary contest between Leo Canty and Brandon McGee.

The absentee ballot found Monday during a second recount of Windsor’s ballots could determine the outcome of the race, if Superior Court Judge A. Susan Peck decides to have the envelope erroneously marked “deceased” opened Wednesday.

John Kennelly, an attorney for McGee, said he’s not sure he will ask the judge to unseal the ballot, which could decide the election.

“At this point we’re not ready to answer that question,” Kennelly said.

Thomas McDonough, an attorney for Canty, said he would have to do some more research before deciding whether he would ask the court to unseal the envelope.

It’s possible the woman voted for the third candidate in the race, Windsor Mayor Donald Trinks. And it’s also possible the envelope includes no ballot at all, which is what happened in Hartford Tuesday afternoon.

A second recount of Hartford’s absentee ballots Tuesday found that there was an empty envelop which contained no ballot at all. Solving at least one of Peck’s questions.

Last week, Peck said she had no reason to doubt Hartford City Clerk John Bazzano when he testified that he delivered 79 absentee ballots to a Hartford polling place, but at the end of the evening on Aug. 14 were only 78.

“It appears, pretty persuasively, that if something happened to the ballot, it happened on election day,” Peck said Friday.

On Tuesday city officials confirmed there was nothing in the envelope which they were unable to open during the first recount called for by the Secretary of the State’s office.

The recount of absentee ballots in Hartford yielded no changes to the vote count it had completed on Aug. 14, which means Canty and McGee are still tied.

Judge Peck will have to decide Wednesday whether to open up the Windsor woman’s ballot. She could also order a revote if there were questions of electoral conduct, and she may have to decide whether to toss three Windsor votes because the voters were not properly checked in by the poll workers.

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(2) Comments

posted by: mattw | September 19, 2012  12:19am

“[S]he may have to decide whether to toss three Windsor votes because the voters were not properly checked in by the poll workers”

This is not possible: the ballots are intermingled and contain no identifying information. Once they have been cast there is no way to remove them from the tally. (Also, this is not an accident or error in our system: the right to a secret ballot is protected by the state constitution.)

posted by: Tessa Marquis | September 19, 2012  8:38am

It is a privacy issue, right? If they open the absentee ballot vote is no longer private.