News Published: Aug 16, 2012 - 9:55:21 AM

Merrill: Two recounts taking place following close primary election

By Secretary of the State Denise Merrill's office

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Hartford, CT - Secretary of the State Denise Merrill notified Wednesday Registrars of Voters and Town Clerks in New Haven, West Haven, Hartford and Windsor they have until August 21, 2012 to conduct recounts after close votes in General Assembly primaries in their municipalities that took place on Tuesday August 14th. The recounts will be conducted in for the General Assembly district 116 in West Haven and part of New Haven after the count on primary night showed Democrat Lou Esposito receiving 548 votes while his opponent David Forsyth received 537, a margin of 11 votes. There is also a tie vote in General Assembly district 5 in Hartford and Windsor, where Democrats Leo Canty and Brandon McGee each received 774 votes after the initial count on Tuesday August 14th.

“At this point only 11 votes separate the candidates in the hotly contested Democratic legislative primary in West Haven and New Haven so by law that race will be automatically recounted by local Registrars of Voters,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s chief elections official. “We also appear to have a tie vote in the 5th legislative district primary in Hartford and Windsor, and one of the candidates has requested a recount. If that recount still results in a tie vote, we will have an adjourned, tie-breaker primary on September 4th for registered Democrats in the district to choose between the three candidates on the ballot for that seat. This should serve as a good reminder why it is so important that everyone who is eligible cast a ballot – since every vote truly does count!”

According to state law, automatic “close vote” recounts are triggered by election results where the margin for a particular seat is either within 0.5% of the total votes cast or within 20 votes. The defeated candidate also has the ability to waive their right to a recount if they so choose. There are also discrepancy recounts that can be called for by election moderators if there is a discrepancy in the results. Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes 9-311 and 9-311a, recounts are to be conducted by election moderators and supervised by Registrars of Voters. The recounts for the 2012 Primary Elections must be complete by Tuesday August 21, 2012.

For a tie primary vote, Connecticut general statutes 9-446 allows the chair of the political party or either of the affected candidates to ask for a recount of votes from that district, or they can agree to forego the recount and hold an adjourned primary to be held on Tuesday September 4, 2012.

In Hartford’s primary for General Assembly District #5, initial tabulations had Democrat Leo Canty receiving 774 votes – the same as his opponent Brandon McGee. In the Assembly District #116, the initial count on primary night had Democrat Lou Esposito leading opponent David Forsyth by a count of 548-537 votes, a margin of 11 votes.

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