Judge Expected To Decide Whether To Call New Primary Election
September 03, 2010
Superior Court Judge A. Susan Peck is expected to decide as soon as next week whether to call for a new Democratic primary election in the 1st House District.
Incumbent State Rep. Kenneth Green filed a lawsuit Aug. 24 seeking to have the election results invalidated after a recount determined that he lost the seat he held for more than 15 years by two votes to Hartford city Councilman Matthew Ritter.
Green, who was leading by two votes after the initial count on election night, alleged that errors made by Bloomfield Democratic Registrar of Voters Anne Wall and other election officials made it impossible to determine the real winner.
Green, who was not endorsed at the party's May convention, also charged that Wall favored Ritter, denied his choice of poll workers, and lied during testimony.
In closing arguments Friday, Green's attorney, Steven Seligman, said Wall, whom he referred to as a "Ritter partisan," had damaged the "fundamental pillar of integrity and reliability" of the election process.
Seligman also said that votes from a Bloomfield resident who voted at a poll outside the district he resides in and a Bloomfield resident who voted by absentee ballot, but died the day before the primary, should be counted.
In his closing arguments, Ritter's attorney, Daniel J. Krisch, said that neither Wall's actions nor those of other election officials constituted substantial violations and that Seligman "failed to prove that they placed the election in doubt."
"All he's proven is that no election is perfect," Krisch said.
Krisch said that a new primary would also carry the potential of disenfranchising those who voted in the first primary — no one can predict who might be able to vote again.
Wall's attorney, Marc Needelman, countered Green's testimony about the conversation he had with Wall about the poll workers: "Mr. Green has gone so far as to say Ms. Wall lied," Needelman said. "Someone lied, and I think we know who it was."
Peck has 10 days to issue a decision. She said she would issue it as soon as possible.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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