Clerk calls for investigation of vote counting
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.