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Recounts in Ansonia, Stratford today

November 13, 2018

The first results of the district wide recount in the topsy turvy State Senate 17th race are in.

And Jorge Cabrera, the Democratic challenger picked up a vote to knock incumbent State Senator George Logan’s lead down to 64.

Derby was the first of the seven municipalities to conclude their recount. Their tally is Logan 2,361 and Cabrera 1,823.

Recounts are scheduled today in Ansonia and Naugatuck. Beacon Falls, Bethany and Hamden will do theirs on Wednesday.

Meanwhile the battle for Stratford’s 120th state house seat could be headed to court.

A recount in the race that currently has Phil Young, the incumbent Democrat up by 18 votes over James Feehan will take place this morning at Stratford Town Hall.

But whoever loses is expected to continue their challenge in state Superior Court.

“There were two machine breakdowns on Election Day - one at Wilcoxson School and the other at Wooster Middle School,” Feehan, former head of the Town Council and Board of Education said. “ I commend the staff at both sites and the Registrars of Voters for their quick mitigation of the breakdowns, but I believe it is in everyone’s best interests for the statutory recount to move forward to ensure that every properly cast vote is counted.”

But there were bigger, more concerning problems at Bunnell High School which served as the polling place for two state house districts—120 and 122.

That alone is not unusual. Polling places in Bridgeport, Derby and Milford often include more than one district.

What is unusual is around midday Feehan said “it appears that a packet of ballots for the 122nd District was mistakenly used in the 120th District voting line.”

The 122nd state House district involved a race between Ben McGorty, the incumbent Republican against Jose Goncalves, the Democratic challenger who is a member of Shelton’s Board of Education.

Feehan credited “an astute voter” with discovering the mistake and reporting it to the moderator who replaced the 122nd ballots with the correct 120th. The mistake was also logged as required, Feehan said.

“The Registrars of Voters investigated the incident and it was determined that while 1,575 voters names were crossed off the official checklist in the Bunnell 120th District, only 1,499 ballots were processed - a difference of 76 ballots,” Feehan said. “Likewise, in the Bunnell 122nd, there are 952 names crossed off the official list, but 1,031 ballots processed.”

Feehan said the discrepancy does not impact McGorty’s race but could be a factor in his being behind.

“This incident appears to have been accidental, but the effect is significant,” Feehan said. “The number of incorrectly provided ballots exceeds that difference in the number of votes between myself and Rep. Young. It is impossible to determine the identity or intent of those 76 voters and the winner of the November 6, 2018 election can never be known.”

Both candidates said they may turn to the court for a ruling.

Meanwhile Young suggested that the state look into the work of the Registrar of Voters’ offices across the state because of so many issues in recent elections.

Other recounts are taking place in the 101st State House race where Noreen Kokoruda, the Republican incumbent leads John-Michael Parker, her Democratic challengers 6,254 to 6,231. The district includes Madison and Durham.

Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowitz is holding a slim 37 vote lead over Michael Gagliardi, the Republican challenger in the 30th House district race which includes Berlin and Southington.

“People need to be held accountable,” he said.

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