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More legal wrangling in Stratford election case

November 27, 2018

BRIDGEPORT - Lawyers for the two candidates in the still unsettled contest for Stratford’s state house will be back in court Wednesday as they try to hammer out questions to put before the state Supreme Court.

Judge Barbara Bellis ordered the lawyers back to court after they couldn’t come to an agreement about the questions themselves. The answers to particular questions of law will determine whether Bellis can decide the case or whether it should be up to the state House to determine whether there should be a new election.

James Feehan, who in a recount lost to Phil Young in the contest for the 120th District by 13 votes is suing to get a new election.

Voting for both the 120th district and the 122nd assembly district was held at Bunnell High School. But around midday Nov. 6, a voter for the 120th district noticed he had been handed a ballot for the 122nd. Young, the incumbent Democratic candidate and Feehan, the Republican challenger, were not on the ballot for the 122nd.

It was determined that a packet of ballots for the 122nd district had been given out to voters for the 120th.

After the election, the Registrar of Voters discovered that in the 120th district, 1,575 voter names had been crossed off the official checklist but only 1,499 ballots had been processed, a difference of 76 fewer ballots than voters, according to court papers. In the checklist of the 122nd, 952 names had been crossed off the official checklist, but 1,031 ballots were processed, a difference of 79 more ballots than voters.

During a hearing on Monday Bellis denied Feehan a temporary injunction blocking the secretary of state from certifying Young as the winner of the election. She then told both sides to come up with questions for the Supreme Court because she is sure the case is heading there.

“This is new territory here,” the judge said. “It’s becoming more and more apparent this case is going to end up in the Supreme Court, I am just a stepping stone. Either way you are going to have an appeal.”

Young’s lawyer, William Bloss, objected to a series of questions posed by Feehan’s lawyer, Proloy Das.

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