Judge asked to throw out Stratford election results
BRIDGEPORT - It now may be up to a judge to decide who will represent Stratford in the state house of representatives.
Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis signed an order late Thursday afternoon scheduling a hearing for Tuesday on allegations that residents were denied their right to vote in last week’s general election for the 120th Assembly district.
Democrat incumbent Phil Young was declared the winner on Wednesday following a recount by a 13-vote margin over Republican challenger James Feehan. The total was 5,222 votes to 5,209.
But in court papers filed Thursday, Feehan is asking Bellis to throw out the results and order the state and the town to hold a new election for the district.
“Absent a new election in the 120th assembly district the winner of the election for the position of state representative for the 120th assembly district cannot be known,” Feehan states in his request.
Things had not gone well on election day in the 120th district.
Voting for both the 120th district and the 122nd assembly district was held at Bunnell High School. But around midday a voter for the 120th district noticed he had been handed a ballot for the 122nd. Young and Feehan 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. The checklist of the 122nd, 952 names had been crossed off the official checklist, but 1,031 ballots processed, a difference of 79 more ballots than voters.
“The recanvas did not address the ballot discrepancy between the 120th and the 122nd assembly districts, which calls into question the integrity of the election,” Feehan contends. “Plaintiff wishes to assure that all properly registered voters of the 120th assembly district who were denied the right to vote in the 120th assembly district election will have the opportunity to vote and have their vote counted.”
“The recount served to reaffirm that all votes were counted, and no voter was disenfranchised during the process,” said Stephanie Philips, chairperson of the Stratford Democratic Town Committee. “Phil is ready to go back to Hartford to fulfill the commitment made during the election process. I understand Mr. Feehan’s frustration, but it should be directed at the office where the Republican ROV is also the Republican Town Committee Chairman. Furthermore, I question why Jim Feehan knew on election day of the issue, but it took 3 days for the Register’s office to notify Mr. Young and myself, only after a recount was ordered by the state.”