Bag of Uncounted Ballots Found in Bridgeport

By Bob Connors
|  Thursday, Nov 4, 2010  |  Updated 11:56 PM EDT
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NBC Connecticut

People at the office of the Registrar of Voters in Bridgeport begin recount of ballots Thursday.

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In what has become one of the stranger twists in an already bizarre Governor's race, a bag of uncounted ballots was found in Bridgeport Thursday night.

Republican officials were approached by Democratic operatives and told about the surprise ballot bag, according to Bridgeport GOP Chairman Marc Delmonico.

“It adds to the inconsistencies from the Democratic Party in Bridgeport.  It just keeps adding to it,” said Delmonico.  “There’s nothing odd about it; there’s certainly nothing missing about it,” said Ed Maley, a representative for the Democratic Party.

Delmonico said Democrats asked to have several people deputized to count the uncounted ballots, but Republicans objected, claiming that wasn't proper procedure in the vote-counting process.

“These ballots are getting extraordinarily heightened scrutiny.  They’re being dealt with in a public fashion, an open public process so that everyone can witness it,” said Mark Anastasi, the city attorney for Bridgeport.

Instead the GOP asked police to take custody of the bag of ballots until the matter could be sorted out.

The votes could be pivotal in the race for Governor, in which neither candidate has conceded defeat.

Wednesday, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz declared Democrat Dan Malloy the "unofficial" winner, but numbers released by her office show Republican Tom Foley still leading Malloy by more than 8,000 votes. Those totals do not include any of the vote totals from the City of Bridgeport.

Bridgeport has become the focal point of what has turned into a circus of an election.

A ballot shortage led to long lines on Election Day, and a judge issuing an order to keep polls open until 10 p.m. Tuesday, two hours longer than every other town in the state.

Because of the shortage, many of the votes cast Tuesday were done so on photocopied ballots.

Election officials began counting those ballots just after 5 p.m. Thursday when the new bag of uncounted ballots was discovered.

Bysiewicz said she didn't expect the vote totals from Bridgeport to be submitted to her until Friday at the earliest.

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