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Call Him The “Official” Gov-Elect

by Christine Stuart & Paul Bass | Nov 5, 2010 6:10 pm

(24) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Campaign 2010

Thomas MacMillan File Photo(Updated) Nearly three days after polls closed, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz announced Friday evening that Democrat Dan Malloy beat Republican Tom Foley to the governor’s seat by 5,637 votes. Foley’s campaign, however, said he still wasn’t satisfied with the accuracy of the “ever-changing” count.

Bysiewicz did not appear in person for the 6 p.m. press conference at the Capitol where the announcement was made. Through a spokesman, she released a statement with new numbers showing Malloy beat Foley by 566,498 to 560,861 votes. Her spokesman, Av Harris, said no recount is planned. A recount is triggered only when the vote margin is 2,000 or smaller.

“This is good news. We’ve always been confident that Dan Malloy and Nancy Wyman won this election,” responded Malloy spokesman Brian Durand. Previously Friday, Foley refused to concede the race until he was confident in the accuracy of the results.

Foley’s spokeswoman Liz Osborn said the new numbers do not address Foley’s concerns, including those about “ever-changing vote totals.” She said she would comment further “once the campaign has been able to gain additional information requested of a number of municipalities and the Secretary of State.”

Bysiewicz’s announcement came hours after the town of Bridgeport finished a long, convoluted vote-counting process. Bysiewicz proclaimed Malloy the “unofficial” victor on Wednesday, based on unofficial vote tallies. On Friday, her spokesman said the total is “official,” but has yet to be certified. That certification will take place by Nov. 25, he said.

The announcement was the latest in a fast-paced day in an election that would not die.

Cops Hand-Deliver Bungled Tally

Cops drove from Bridgeport to Hartford Friday afternoon to deliver hard-copy results from a vote count that kept getting revised up until the last minute—and that purports to give Malloy the margin of victory to become Connecticut’s first Democratic governor elected since 1986.

The Bridgeport police were transporting documents containing the really truly we-mean-it (we-think) official vote count from the city of Bridgeport in Tuesday’s gubernatorial election. Those numbers kept changing for days after the election—even on Friday morning after Bridgeport’s mayor summoned the press to release putatively official figures.

The documents arrived at the office of Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz around 2:20 p.m. (They were also faxed there.)

Now Bysiewicz is expected to emerge in public again—a personally perilous proposition for her these days—at some point late Friday to declare Dan Malloy the winner, and perhaps answer a swirl of questions about how she has conducted this election.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party has made Freedom of Information requests to all 169 Connecticut cities and towns in anticipation of a possible statewide recount.

However you slice and dice the Bridgeport numbers, they do roughly show Dan Malloy capturing approximately a 13,000-vote victory in the city. That gives him approximately a 5,000 statewide victory, if the numbers hold up. (Click here for the secretary of the state’s latest honestly truly official statewide vote breakdown.)

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch announced results of his holdout city’s recount at a 6 a.m. press conference at the City Hall Annex on Broad Street. He said Malloy had beaten Republican Tom Foley 17,800 to 4,075 in Bridgeport. That’s enough to put him over the top of the otherwise official statewide vote count, the result of a process disputed over three days. Click here and here to read reports from overnight, including a dispute over a previously undisclosed sealed bag of uncounted 335 ballots.

Finch’s numbers did differ from the final tally prepared by his two city registrars after one final marathon vote-counting session. It lasted from 4:30 p.m. Thursday until 7:30 a.m. Friday. Their numbers, announced at 7:30 a.m: 17,042 to 4,099. Registrars posted those numbers on the wall at 7:30 a.m. The final numbers driven to Bysiewicz’s office differed very slightly again, by 4 votes.

But then there was another mess-up: The numbers came off the wall. Registrars said in their haste to put numbers up, they forgot to put some in.

At 8:47 a.m. registrars then called out the super-final, ultra-official numbers they will fax in to the state: 17,923 for Malloy (on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines) and 4,092 for Foley. Those vote totals did not to include ballots cast after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, of which there were 50 for Malloy an seven for Foley.

The final numbers driven to Bysiewicz’s office differed very slightly again, by 4 votes.

Never-Ending Election

Friday afternoon’s events followed yet another whirlwind day of post-election positioning, recalculation, and uncertainty.

Republican candidate Foley refused to accept the botched and still-evolving recount of votes in Bridgeport Friday morning, urging the state to wait a few days to nail down an accurate result of this week’s gubernatorial election.

At a 10:35 a.m. press conference in the lobby of Hartford’s Goodwin Hotel, Foley stopped short of vowing to challenge the results. Instead, he called for Secretary of the State to wait before announcing an official victor in the race. He said the state should take more days to study the numbers again, since in 20 communities the reported numbers kept changing for days after Tuesday’s election, including a 2,000-vote swing in his favor in Torrington in the secretary of the state’s count.

Click on the play arrow above to watch highlights.

“We are being laughed at around this country,” Foley said. “I don’t want to create a situation where a result is declared here and then it’s changed ... Let’s just take our time.”

Will Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz announce “official” results Friday?

As of noon, she wasn’t taking questions. Here’s what her communications director, Av Harris, wrote to reporters:

Christine Stuart Photo “As of 11:30 a.m. we still have not received the return from Bridgeport.  Once the return is received by our office, the data will be entered to our computerized database.  Then the result will be tabulated.  Then the figures will be double and triple checked to make sure any errors are eliminated.  When we are confident that we have a complete and accurate election result, then we will release it to you. Secretary Bysiewicz will not have anything to say until then. I appreciate your patience.

“Once again, I cannot tell you right now when this information will be available, but we are hopeful it will be today.

Christine Stuart Photo At his Friday morning press conference, Foley said he doesn’t “think anybody should be confident in these results based on what happened the past couple of days.”

“Until the numbers stabilize we don’t know what the actual count is going to be,” Foley said. “The people of Connecticut will benefit if I can say I believe in” the numbers.

“I spent seven months in Iraq,” he remarked. “I ‘m used to this. I don’t get on much of a roller coaster.”

Foley’s mood remained calm, reasonable as he took questions from reporters.

Unlike in previous days, Foley was no longer claiming that his internal numbers showed him in the lead. He said he’s not as “comfortable” about his showing as he was before. Instead, he emphasized the need to have numbers that everyone can believe in. He said a recount may be appropriate even if the margin is greater than the 2,000-threshold that automatically triggers one.

“When it’s reported that a bag of ballots showed up mysteriously, I think the citizens deserve to know more about that story. Where did they come from? Are they legitimate ballots? Should they be counted?”

Among those accompanying Foley Friday: His lawyer on this election’s developments, former U.S. Attorney Kevin O’Connor; and Vernon Mayor Jason McCoy.

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Comments

posted by: William Kurtz on November 5, 2010  11:28am

Mr. Foley was looking reasonable for a while but now he’s gone down the rabbit hole of nonsensical conspiracy theories.  There’s no ‘mystery’ about that bag of ballots and the citizens who bother to read know all about it.  It was properly sealed, stored securely, and the registrars from both parties apparently knew all about it. 

If some evidence exists to suggest it was tampered with, then that will change things but in the absence of any such evidence, we know what we need to know.

posted by: dee on November 5, 2010  11:46am

ENOUGH about the bag of ballots, Tom! Asked and answered. REPEATEDLY. Bridgeport said that both campaigns knew about the bag of ballots immediately on Tuesday, and I believe them. The Foley campaign has seized this inconsequential event to manufacture doubt about the results. The way they insist on harping about it makes that obvious. It was a bag of ballots for your opponent, Tom, and they won’t change the results even if you throw them out. Give it up.

posted by: Alison on November 5, 2010  11:47am

I agree with Tom Foley. There needs to be a recount.

posted by: robn on November 5, 2010  11:56am

NO.

The ballots were sealed and there was proper chain of custody. Bridgeport has already done a count and a recount.

The GOP don’t want another recount; they want an opportunity to challenge ballots. My guess is Foley’s lawyers (Rudy Guilianis’s law firm) is flying in people from all over to cause a ruckus just like the GOP did in Florida (the infamous Brooks Brothers riot).

Its over Mr.Foley. Man up and concede.

posted by: anon on November 5, 2010  12:01pm

There he goes again with the bag of ballots thing, when it is already 100% clear that the bag was perfectly legitimate and part of the normal process. 

Is he suggesting that we disenfranchise minority voters, like Florida did in 2000? 

If not calling for it directly, it certainly seems he is indirectly making that suggestion in order to play up this story to our wildly inaccurate, racist media establishment.

Good luck with that approach, Foley.

posted by: observer on November 5, 2010  12:13pm

Actually, it appears the national media could care less about this race.  It’s all about the historic shift in congress, and Obama’s failure to immediately capitulate to Boehner.

Foley, amateur politician that he is, doesn’t understand that you concede when don’t have the votes—otherwise you end up not just a loser but a sore loser.  He can wait for it to be official (which always takes a while anyway), but when Malloy beats him, officially, by more than 2000 votes, he won’t have a viable method to contest the election.  Debicella gets this—having actually been in elections before, he knows sometimes you just move on.  Foley will need to learn this too.

posted by: robn on November 5, 2010  12:28pm

How about an NHI headline something like this…

Foley Campaign Manufactures False Conspiracy

posted by: jschmidt on November 5, 2010  1:08pm

A TV interview of the Mayor of Vernon who was at the Bridgeport polls, said some voters where given multiple ballots, some were not checked on the rolls of voters, completed ballots were not secured. THis is not the way to run an election and if Malloy had been in Foleys place he and his supporters would agree. Ballots should not be photocopied for completion. Ballots should be numbered so there is a tracking mechanism. But we have no clue if the photocopied ballots were even filled in before hand. CT is the new Florida. Obviously Malloy supporters want to ignore the whole thing but a special vote for Bridgeport should be initiated and the photocopies thrown out. Looks like we may need Jimmy Carter to oversee elections in CT.

posted by: robn on November 5, 2010  2:43pm

JSCHMIDT,

Could you give us the network/weblink for Mayor Of Vernon interview? If it really exists, I’d love to see to see the Republican mayor who looks barely old enough to vote himself, accusing his own Republican Registrar of election improprieties. (you do know that all political parties have their own representatives present when voting is being conducted, don’t you?)

posted by: C on November 5, 2010  3:53pm

Right, First there is a massive shortage of ballots, now the claim by some folks is that the copies were faked, and now question the “bag.”

Seems to me like the GOP knew they were going to loose Bridgeport so they allow a massive shortage of ballots and the Dems weren’t quick enough to pick up on that potentially shorting themselves on thousands of votes. Then this sets up the situation for the GOP to cry foul. Now Foley’s camp can try and cast doubt on the whole election process. Guess he shouldn’t have wasted his own millions.

Shame on the registrars in that city. I hope the electorate takes note of this next election.

posted by: Elaine Braffman on November 5, 2010  7:22pm

All I want to say is two things:
1.The NHI did an absolute awesome job of covering this election!
2.The sound of (Governor Malloy) is music to my ears!

posted by: Latest Update on November 5, 2010  9:14pm

Johnny Boy demands a recount

posted by: John on November 6, 2010  8:16am

Mr. Foley is starting to sound like a sore loser.

posted by: Charlie O'Keefe on November 6, 2010  9:31am

This election has been so badly managed. A statewide recount is needed to seal it for Malloy. If this isn’t done he’ll have the same level of credibility as former President George W Bush. Remember we live in Corrupticut, where a governor and most major city mayors have spent time in the penitentiary.

posted by: Charlie O' Keefe on November 6, 2010  9:34am

More.  If Malloy wants to gain stature and seal his position as Governor he should ask for a recount.

posted by: roomforaview on November 6, 2010  10:13am

New Haveners should be very proud. They were the jet engine that powered the Malloy victory. Our first Dem governor in 20 years!
Property tax reform, a fair deal for the big cities, budgets and services that respond to the needs of average folk, not just the wealthy. The huge margin in New Haven put Malloy in the governor’s seat, and I’m sure he won’t forget that.

posted by: citysavior on November 6, 2010  11:49am

does some one know who king john endorsed? i know he backed Lamont and lost. did he pull a France and stay neutral but behind the door try to support Foley??

posted by: Elaine on November 6, 2010  12:00pm

Tom Foley should concede at this point. He appears to be flailing-around, clutching at straws. The state tally is now official, and all the major independent news sources concur. Business Week, NY Post, Bloomberg, Courant, NH Independent, Register, everybody under the sun…...except Tom Foley. It is a shame what happened with the Bridgeport votes, but that’s cleared up now. There was no conspiracy, maybe some bungling, but it has been triple-checked. Tom Foley is beginning to tarnish his good name and his gentlemanly image. I think the more he drags it out, the more he will permanently damage himself and the State of Connecticut. Dan Malloy is the new Governor of CT, and Mr. Foley should give up all the gasping and whimpering.
Elaine
Greenwich

posted by: nfjanette on November 6, 2010  11:48pm

With 2,009,938 voters in the state as of 10/18/2010, a victory margin of around 5600 votes shouldn’t have anyone dancing a jig or feeling a particular mandate about anything.  The only thing that is clear is that we are deeply divided in perception of issues and appropriate possible solutions.  Either the two main political parties will work together or they will cut off the nose the state to spite their faces.

posted by: Anderson Scooper on November 7, 2010  12:40am

Congrats Governor Malloy!

I think you agree that Connecticut’s cities are most important to the future of the state.

Please, please, don’t attempt to balance the next budget by cutting state aid to municipalities. New Haven is already suffering from a choking 43.9 mill rate.

Do us all proud!

Scooper

posted by: robn on November 7, 2010  10:06am

NFJANETTE,

I agree with your premise, but its hard to look back at the last two years of Democratic compromise (much of which, frankly, I think they should have stood their ground on) and to look back at the past 2 years of (national) GOP obstructionism (the most filibusters and party line votes in history)...its hard to look back at all that without laying the blame on the GOP. Extend an olive branch to that group and they hit you with it.

posted by: kip on November 7, 2010  12:30pm

Why is it a number and not a percent, or rather where did the 2000 figure come from?
Why does the registration system change?  I for one had problems at the polls and would have voted for Foley.  We might concede this‚ but I will never register democrat after this recent experience.  Prepare for a reign of corruption and scandel.

posted by: kip on November 7, 2010  2:32pm

... What is ‘runners high’, Trebek?

posted by: Threefifths on November 7, 2010  5:38pm

posted by: nfjanette on November 6, 2010 11:48pm

  Either the two main political parties will work together or they will cut off the nose the state to spite their faces.
posted by: Anderson Scooper on November 7, 2010 12:40am

They have been working together.This is why we are in the mess we are into today.


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