Connecticut's top election official said Wednesday it appears that Democrat Dan Malloy is the next governor of the state, according to unofficial numbers, but Republican Tom Foley is not conceding because he says his numbers show that he won the election.
Malloy beat Republican Tom Foley by 3,103 votes, based on unofficial results, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said Wednesday. Foley said the margin was much smaller and that he anticipated a recanvassing of the vote.
In a press conference late Wednesday afternoon, Malloy said he was certain of the results and his position as the new governor of the state. "It wil more likely grow than shrink," Malloy said of his lead. "We are confident of those numbers, it is why we move forward today, in a very formal way, to begin setting up a Malloy-Wyman administration.
"I'm going to be the governor. It's time to turn the page, " he said.
State law would require a recount if an electoral margin was one half of 1 percent of the votes cast, except if that margin is greater than 2,000 votes, Bysiewicz and her staff said, but they would not have the authority if the vote margin is more than 2,000.
Foley was in the lead for most of the night, but when votes were tallied from the state's largest city, Bridgeport, Malloy took the lead. Bridgeport polls stayed open until 10 p.m. , acting on a court order, after it was discovered that some stations did not have enough ballots.
Foley said he will compare the town-by-town totals from Bysiewicz's office with his numbers to see where the discrepancies are and decide what to do from there. He says Bysiewicz was wrong to declare Malloy the winner based on incomplete, unofficial numbers.
Part of the issue in deciding this race is that Bridgeport elections officials ordered only 21,000 ballots for a city with 69,000 registered voters and 12 precincts ran out.
The voting hours were extended for two hours and about 500 people cast votes during that time, according to Bysiewicz.
Some voters cast their votes on photocopied ballots while the state ordered more.
The numbers are still not in for some precincts in Hartford, New Haven and Stamford.
Bysiewicz said she expects Foley’s campaign and the Republicans would take legal action because they fought keeping the polls open late.
If a recount were to happen, Foley said earlier in the day, votes cast all over the state would be re-tallied.
"We’ve heard from others there are some problems with the numbers all around the state so it wouldn’t just be Bridgeport,” Foley said.
Malloy issued a statement saying he is ahead by about 1 percent and the precincts that have not officially reported tend to vote for Democrats, so a recount will not be necessary.
“After a long night, I am confident that when the Secretary of the State certifies the results of the election, Nancy Wyman and I will be declared the winners, and that a recount will not be necessary," Malloy said in a statement released on Wednesday. "I want the people of Connecticut to know that I am committed to working on a smooth, orderly transition with Gov. Rell – and that we will announce a transition team that will lead that effort in short order.”
The City of New Haven released it numbers and said 21,108 voters chose Malloy and 3,500 chose Foley, without factoring in absentee ballots. In Bridgeport, 19,148 voted for Malloy and 6,502 voted for Foley.
The last statewide recount was for secretary of the state in 1994.
In what became the strangest moment of the night, Foley and Malloy took the stage at their respective campaign headquarters simultaneously around 1 a.m. on Wednesday and both seemed to indicate that they would prove victorious.
"Results from Bridgeport still aren't in, but we expect to win," Foley told his supporters.
Malloy's speech to supporters sounded very similar.
"It appears we may enjoy a victory tonight," he told the crowd.