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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.

Spiff August 21, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Did you actually expect that the union guy wasn't going to win? Come-on, this is CT!
Cari August 21, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Whenever there is manual intervention there is room for error. I think a re-vote on September 4th would be appropriate.
Jennifer Coe August 21, 2012 at 11:55 PM
amazing series of events
Guyrene August 22, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Jennifer, what is so amazing about a recount in a very close election? It's the law. It's the best way to insure that no mistakes were made in the original counting. Both parties usually observe the recount to further insure the integrity of the process.
Al Simon August 22, 2012 at 02:13 AM
All candidates in the primary have multiple people observer the entire recount process in both town, and it was open to the public as well. It certainly was close, but the time for a revote has passed. That is allowed by law in a tie, as long as all candidates agree to it. The McGee campaign, and Trink's as well, I believe, wanted the recount. There is no longer a tie.
Bill Generous August 22, 2012 at 03:35 AM
What is amazing is the closeness of the election with McGee up by one vote after results were originally communicated on election night and then seeing him losing by one vote with a recount.
Albert Williams August 22, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Won by one vote, a vote that was written in that wasn't counted a week ago? Or was this the infamous missing ballot? Speaks volumes for getting out to vote, it can't be said enough. If the govmt was handing out rebates for a power outage or some sort of handout people would wait all day in line, but its so painful to get out and vote. At least we don't have to hear a certain someone whine and moan like a petulant child…this year.
Julian McKinley (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Albert, the vote that made the difference was the ballot with hand-drawn circles that wasn't read by the machine. The "missing" ballot was not found.
Teacher Mom August 22, 2012 at 12:33 PM
A close race does not mean there was a conspiracy. The process was observed by representatives from all candidates. To cast aspersions that unions were involved in the outcome of the recount and/or there was some purposeful wrongdoing sounds like "whining and moaning" to me. Congratulations to all of the candidates for a hard fought race! Congratulations to Leo Canty for winning.
Albert Williams August 22, 2012 at 12:46 PM
I guess its fitting for Windsor, everything else that's happened this year has had a tainted spin...why not add one more. Congrats to Canty...I guess you should be proud, like Bush was many years ago in FL.
Catherine & Dennis August 22, 2012 at 01:00 PM
The state needs to call for a new vote.
Blink August 22, 2012 at 01:06 PM
If you want really want to make this a legitimate win there should be another election. Obviously, one fraudulant vote is one too many.
R Eleveld August 22, 2012 at 02:12 PM
This is not our race (Republican) however I still am lost on what happened in Windsor where there seems to be a "missing" ballot, and yet when checked it was not "missing". Still not sure how that happens. I also do not understand the "found" absentee ballot in Hartford the day after the election. Julian, might you have some incite?
Julian McKinley (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Ron, the only explanation regarding the "missing ballot" I have received is: a) the machine count during the primary and hand count during the recount did not match up; there was a one-ballot difference; b) there was a search conducted, and no ballot was found. The absentee ballot in Hartford was not "found." It just was not included on the vote-count slips posted in council chambers, as is common practice during recounts. In speaking with the Hartford Registrar of Voters, I learned that one absentee was hand-counted, and that ballot included a vote for Canty.
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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