Malloy Wins

Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012  |  Updated 11:38 PM EDT
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<a title=Mayor Bill Finch reveals Malloy winning Bridgeport." />

Mayor Bill Finch reveals Malloy winning Bridgeport.

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Dan Malloy has defeated Republican Tom Foley to become the first Democrat in two decades to be elected governor of Connecticut.

The Associated Press on Friday reinstated its call of Malloy as the winner of the governor's race.

The AP initially called Malloy the winner on Wednesday, after Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said her preliminary count showed Malloy had won by 3,103 votes, but withdrew the call Wednesday night when its vote count, with all but a handful of precincts reporting, showed Foley with a narrow lead.

Bridgeport elections officials handed the final numbers over to Bysiewicz on Friday afternoon.

According to the tally posted on Bysiewicz's website, the votes breakdown with 566,498 votes cast for Malloy, 560,861 votes cast for Foley and 17,589 votes cast for Independent Tom Marsh.

Foley, however, has not conceded. His campaign wants to make sure the latest poll numbers out of Bridgeport are accurate.

The count in Bridgeport "has been moving around so much," he said.

On Friday, alone, there was some confusion over the numbers. The day began with an early morning announcement from Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, who said Malloy received 17,800 votes and Foley received 4,075 in his city.

When Finch delivered his numbers, he said they did not include votes cast during the extended hours of 8 and 10 p.m. on Election Day. Some polling places in the city stayed open late after they ran out of ballots and new ones were delivered, drawing complaints from Republican party leaders.

“They are not going to be of consequence, it appears,” Finch said. “We didn’t see any purpose in trying to include those votes.”

Then, there was a moment of panic. Someone who works with the registrar’s office left the room to use the bathroom, returned and saw those numbers, which did not match the registrar’s, which did include the evening votes. That was soon cleared up, but the numbers were checked, and double-checked. Then, two Bridgeport police officers delivered the tally to Hartford and Bysiewicz is expected to give the official results this evening.

“We’ve been confident that Dan Malloy and Nancy Wyman would be declared the winners. We’ll wait for the Secretary of the State to make it official, and will then have more to say,” Dan Kelly, campaign manager for Malloy, said after the mayor presented the numbers.

Since Tuesday, Bysiewicz and Finch have blamed the registrars of voters in Bridgeport for the voting problems because they did not order enough ballots for all registered voters.

“There was ineptitude in the process of ordering ballots and I am very upset about it,” Finch said. He has named a three-member panel to investigate.

He also placed blame on the Secretary of the State.

“I will also say, the Secretary of the State’s office should have caught this mistake,” he said.

One reporter asked the mayor if the ballot shortage was a financial matter.

"It was, by no means, a financial matter. ... There is no doubt the city of Bridgeport has its financial challenges, but I would never, ever scrimp on making sure there are enough ballots. My office was never requested to have more money. This is a mistake that was made on behalf of the registrar’s office and the blame squarely falls there and we’ll see what else went wrong after it’s been investigated.”

This has been a tough year for the city but, Finch said, they would not cut back on ballots.

“We’ve been through … (what) is probably the most difficult summer any administration has ever been through. We lost two firefighters, we were hit by a tornado and then got no compensation for all the damages. We have an $8 million hole in our budget. These are not easy times,” he said. “If government, once every two years, has to make sure that there are enough pieces of paper available for the Democratic process to work, then we have let people down if we do not have enough ballots and it will never happen again. ”

Chris Covucci, state field director for the Foley campaign, then spoke and said numbers that were to be faxed out on Thursday night had Malloy with fewer votes than he had this morning.

“There are a number of numbers that have been bouncing around, at least three, and it’s inaccurate to say this is the final number,” Covucci said. “We think the tallying process was flawed.”

This also comes after Democratic operatives approached Republican officials about a surprise bag of uncounted ballots, according to Bridgeport GOP Chairman Marc Delmonico.

Meanwhile, Finch has called for panels to look into what happened in the city.
“My role as mayor was to ensure that Bridgeport voters voice was counted accurately and that everyone had the chance to vote,” Finch said. "Every single paper ballot was counted, and that's the most important thing. There are no hanging chads here."
 

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