Clerk calls for in­ves­ti­ga­tion of vote count­ing

Connecticut Post - - FROM THE FRONT PAGE - By Michael P. Mayko

ANSONIA — City/Town Clerk Janet Vi­tar­ius Waugh on Fri­day asked the State Elec­tions En­force­ment Com­mis­sion to in­ves­ti­gate ir­reg­u­lar­ity in the count­ing of ab­sen­tee bal­lots for the 17th state Se­nate District vote that led to in­cum­bent Ge­orge Lo­gan first ap­par­ently los­ing the elec­tion, then mov­ing ahead by 65 votes.

But Waugh wants the in­ves­ti­ga­tion to in­clude all races on the Nov. 6 bal­lot.

She sent a let­ter Fri­day by cer­ti­fied mail to Michael J. Brandi, the SEEC’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor and gen­eral coun­sel. Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia has a copy of the let­ter.

In her let­ter,, Waugh in­formed Brandi that rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Lo­gan re-elec­tion cam­paign ad­vised her Thurs­day that “ab­sen­tee bal­lots were counted im­prop­erly, re­sult­ing in Se­na­tor Lo­gan’s op­po­nent Jorge Cabr­era re­ceiv­ing in ex­cess of 200 dou­ble-counted votes.”

Waugh said Lo­gan’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives also brought their con­cerns to Ansonia’s reg­is­trars of vot­ers, who re­counted and re­vised their num­bers Thurs­day. As a re­sult Lo­gan went from be­ing 187 votes be­hind — which is one vote more than the max­i­mum 186 for a re­quired re­count — to 65 votes ahead.

There will be re­counts next week in each of the 17th District’s mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

“Based on the sig­nif­i­cance of the ir­reg­u­lar­ity de­scribed above and the fail­ure of an ad­e­quate ex­pla­na­tion of the dou­ble­count­ing er­ror, I am re­quest­ing that the State Elec­tions En­force­ment Com­mis­sion con­duct an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Ansonia Reg­is­trar of Vot­ers’ han­dling of the November 6, 2018 elec­tion, in­clu­sive of all races fea­tured on the bal­lot,” Waugh wrote.

She sug­gested to Brandi that “such an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is nec­es­sary to iden­tify the cause of the dou­ble count­ing er­ror and to en­sure the cred­i­bil­ity of all results re­ported by the Ansonia Reg­is­trar’s Of­fice in this year’s elec­tion.”

Like all mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, Ansonia has two reg­is­trars. Thomas Maf­feo, rep­re­sents the Democrats while Nancy Valen­tine, a for­mer two-term Repub­li­can mayor, rep­re­sents the Repub­li­cans.

Ear­lier this year, the Repub­li­can Town Com­mit­tee en­dorsed David Papcin, its 20-year-old town chair­man, as its Reg­is­trar can­di­date. He de­feated Valen­tine 371-303 in the Au­gust pri­mary. Valen­tine chose to run as a write-in can­di­date in Tues­day’s elec­tion and again lost.

Con­tacted Thurs­day about the change in vote counts, the SEEC re­ferred ques­tions to Sec­re­tary of the State Denise Mer­rill’s of­fice. Gabe Rosen­berg, a spokesman Mer­rill, con­firmed there was an er­ror in Ansonia’s count­ing. Just how it hap­pened, Rosen­berg said, he was not sure.

Lo­gan, who lives in Ansonia, was seek­ing a sec­ond term as the only black Repub­li­can state se­na­tor in the Leg­is­la­ture. He is the di­rec­tor of en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment for Aquar­ion Wa­ter Ser­vices.

Cabr­era, who lives in Ham­den, is a union or­ga­nizer for the United Food and Com­mer­cial Work­ers. His wife is the prin­ci­pal of Madi­son School in Bridge­port.

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