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"No Change in Numbers," Hartford Says; Canty Wins by One [Video]

Hartford uncovered no errors in its counting of ballots during the August 14 primary, which would give Canty a one-vote victory in the Democratic race for fifth district state representative.

Hartford Democratic Registrar of Voters Olga Iris Vasquez stood before a packed city hall council chambers Tuesday afternoon and announced, "We have no change in our numbers," solidifying a one-vote lead for Windsor's Leo Canty in the Democratic primary for the fifth House district seat.

Canty picked up the one vote on August 17 during Windsor's recount.

Despite Vasquez's announcement, confusion and some protest over the results remained. Most of the confusion was over a discrepancy in the vote tally reported on machine-count receipts. The receipts report Canty losing one absentee ballot in Hartford's twenty-third district, which would put the candidates in a tie for the second time in this race. According to Vasquez, however, that one ballot was hand-counted during the recount, and was not run through the machine.

"The official results will be reported by the secretary of state's office," said Brandon McGee, Canty's opponent, who added that he's looking forward to a re-vote on September 4, if there is still a tie.

In addition, McGee continued, questions regarding a missing ballot in Windsor remain unanswered. 

Elections staff and candidate representatives conducted an unsuccessful search for a missing ballot; a search triggered by a discrepancy in machine and hand counts of ballots cast at Windsor's John F. Kennedy School.

Official numbers will be reported this afternoon, but, as it stands, unofficial numbers reported by the registrar have Canty winning the primary by one vote.

"Having an outcome that's in my favor is very good. I worked real hard, I campaigned real hard, I have to give credit to all the people who were involved in this," said Canty.

While it's unclear whether or not the complete story of the Democratic primary for fifth House district will come to an end Tuesday, the race has clearly been one for the ages.

Unofficial results had McGee ahead of Canty by one vote, only to have Canty pick up another vote in Hartford, putting the candidates neck-and-neck. Three days later, a recount of Windsor votes was conducted, which resulted in Canty taking the lead by one, and the controversy of a missing ballot arising.

If official results of the Hartford recount give Canty the victory, he will be on the ballot as the Democratic party's nominee for the fifth House district. The Republican nominee is Windsor Board of Education member Paul Panos.

*Note Hartford Democratic Registrar of Voters Olga Vasquez did not declare Canty the winner of the race. She only verified Hartford's vote count as having been accurate.

Jane Mansur August 22, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Congratulations to all. However as the saying goes “don’t rest on your laurels”. This is appropriate for all of us, especially for any candidate who thinks they are a shoe in .... You never know when you might get the boot!!
Tim Fitzgerald August 22, 2012 at 10:11 PM
I was an official observer of the recanvass in both Windsor and Hartford. In Hartford, after the ballots were visually inspected, they were fed into the tabulator and I observed a moderator perform this task. Several ballots did not slide effortlessly into the tabulator on the first attempt and were kicked out. After a few attempts they were accepted. Several times a ballot jammed and had to be freed, a quick procedure. But one ballot refused to be accepted by the tabulator despite at least 10 attempts, so it was removed from the pile and not machine read. Nothing unusual about this ballot was visible. This ballot happened not to cast any vote for the 5th House office; there were votes only for the other offices on the ballot. So it was not a factor in the vote count here. But it does suggest the physical interaction between ballot and tabulator is not absolutely flawless--just like humans and the old lever machines. Either the "missing" ballot in Windsor is somehow missing OR a ballot somehow was read twice, perhaps after being jammed and/or rejected.
Catherine & Dennis August 23, 2012 at 12:45 AM
McGee should file suit. As Jennifer Coe says above, it sure is an amazing series of events.
R Eleveld August 23, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Thank you, Tim.
R Eleveld August 23, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Thank you Julian.

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