Still No Winner in Connecticut Governor's Race

Secretary of State still waiting for Bridgeport Election Day results

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Stamford, Connecticut, mayor and Democratic nominee for governor Dannel Malloy, left, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, businessman and Republican nominee Tom Foley shake hands after their televised debate at the Belding Theater in Hartford, Connecticut, on Tuesday, October 5, 2010. (John Woike/Hartford Courant/MCT via Getty Images)

    Connecticut still has no final tally from Tuesday's vote for governor, as every municipality has returned results except Bridgeport, the largest city in the the state, the state's top election official said Thursday.

    Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz said she "can't compel" Bridgeport to hand over its vote tallies before officials are done with it.

    “At approximately 5:00 p.m., our office learned from the Registrar of Voters’ office in Bridgeport that it may take several more hours for the Head Moderator to complete the return from Election Day," Bysiewicz  said in statement released on Thursday evening.  "By law, this document was required by law to be delivered to our office by 6:00 p.m. yesterday.  As such, we do not anticipate receiving any completed return from Bridgeport this evening."

    Further complicating an already confusing election, a bag of uncounted ballots may have turned up in Bridgeport.

    But the deputy city attorney for Bridgeport, Conn., is denied the allegations by Foley's camp about the bag.

    Arthur Laske on Thursday night said the campaigns for Republican Tom Foley and Democrat Dan Malloy were informed Tuesday evening the photocopied ballots were being kept under seal until enough elections staff were available to hand-count them.
    Foley says it's unclear where the ballots originated and whether they are valid. He wants them impounded.

    Laske calls Foley's assertions irresponsible. He says Foley mischaracterized how the ballots have been handled.

    Both Malloy and Foley have claimed victory in the race to replace retiring Republican M. Jodi Rell.

    Without Bridgeport's totals, Republican Tom Foley leads Democrat Dan Malloy by 8,409 votes.

    Adding to the roller coaster, Associated Press election totals released Thursday show Democrat Dan Malloy leading Republican Tom Foley by 6,240 votes, with estimated totals from Bridgeport.

    With 15 out of 25 Bridgeport precincts reporting, Malloy is leading Foley 19,148 to 6502 -- or a 3 to 1 margin.

    The new totals were updated just a day after the AP withdrew its call of Malloy for winner after saying it appeared that Foley had about 8,000 more votes than Malloy.

    "A vote entry error that resulted in New Haven votes being undercounted" led to shifting projections in the the Connecticut governor's race, said Bill Kole, AP's New England bureau chief.

    "We usually have quite a precise operation," said Kole. What happened Tuesday and Wednesday is that the AP registered only a total of 9,000 votes from New Haven and listed that tally as "100% of precincts reporting."

    Malloy's campaign released a statement after Bysiewicz's Thursday press conference saying "Since early Wednesday morning we have said we’re 100 percent confident that when the final vote is certified, Dan Malloy will be declared the winner by a margin comfortably outside what is necessary to trigger a recount. Nothing that’s happened since has changed that.”

    Bysiewicz on Wednesday had said Malloy was unofficial winner, ahead by more then 3,000 votes. Foley, however, maintains that the final count will prove he is winner.

    Foley's camp said "he contacted the Secretary of the State's office this morning (Thursday) to request that any further announcements of election results for the governor's race be postponed until the results are certain and discrepancies between The Secretary of State's office, the Tom Foley for Governor campaign, and the media, are reconciled."
     
    Foley, a millionaire businessman from Greenwich, has yet to say whether he will take the matter to court should Malloy be declared winner.

    Bysiewicz has until Nov. 25 to certify the results.

    Should he be declared winner, Malloy would become Connecticut's first Democratic governor since William O'Neill left office in 1991.

    The vote total in heavily Democratic Bridgeport, the state's largest city, became an issue Tuesday when city polling places ran
    out of paper ballots. The shortage led to long lines and prompted some voters to leave without voting, said Carolyn Vermont, head of the Bridgeport NAACP.

    Bridgeport election officials gave some voters photocopied ballots, and those copies were counted by hand. State Republicans
    were questioning that procedure and the count of those ballots continues by hand.

    But the shortage of ballots prompted a state judge to order a dozen polling places in Bridgeport to remain open until two hours late.   Bysiewicz said about 500 ballots were cast in Bridgeport between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.