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.