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Hartford Rep. Sues After Losing Vote Re-Count

By MARK SPENCER

August 26, 2010

HARTFORD Whether an absentee ballot should have been counted that was cast by a person who died a day before the Aug. 10 election is among the issues that could decide the outcome of the contested Democratic primary for the 1st House District.

A hearing will begin Friday at Superior Court in Hartford on incumbent state Rep. Kenneth Green's lawsuit challenging a recount in the primary. The recount gave city Councilman Matthew Ritter a two-vote victory, reversing the two-vote margin Green held on the night of the election.

Because of irregularities in the election and recount, "No one could say with any degree of accuracy what the result was," said Steven L. Seligman, Green's attorney.

The lawsuit names the Democratic registrars of voters in Hartford and Bloomfield and Ritter as defendants. Seligman said Judge A. Susan Peck can declare a winner or order that a new primary be held.

Daniel J. Krisch, Ritter's attorney, said: "We are confident that after a judge reviews the allegations she will find them to be baseless."

The lawsuit says the identity of the person who cast the absentee ballot will be revealed to the court. Seligman said the law specifies that a person must be an eligible voter on Election Day to cast an absentee ballot, which would exclude someone who is dead.

Krisch said that according to the law, an absentee ballot is cast when it is mailed, adding that in the case of military personnel, the law says their absentee ballots count even if they die before Election Day. He also said that all ballots are secret, so no one knows which candidate got the vote.

The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. Friday at Superior Court in Hartford and will likely continue into next week.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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