Those allegations over ballot problems in New Haven? The McMahon campaign no longer sees a reason to haul city officials into court today after all.
That was the upshot of a huddle Friday morning in New Haven’s Registrar of Voters office.
An attorney for Republican Linda McMahon’s U.S. Senate campaign—Herbert Shepardson of the Hartford firm Cooney, Scully and Dowling—huddled there around 10:30 a.m. with City Corporation Counsel Victor Bolden and Registrars of Voters Sharon Ferrucci and Rae Tramantano.
They were originally scheduled to appear in Hartford Superior Court at that time. The McMahon campaign filed a request for an emergency order to compel New Haven to prove it is ordering enough ballots for election day and to scrub voting lists of unqualified voters. The request was based on the fact that the city had neglected to sign an election-certification form it submitted to the state; that a typo on the form was missing a zero for the number of ballots ordered for one of 30 wards (150 rather than 1,500); and that the McMahon campaign challenged the registrations of voters at two addresses.
It turned out that the city had ordered ballots equivalent to 110 percent of the number of registered voters in town; and that one of the addresses cited by the campaign doesn’t exist, and the other has an apartment above a restaurant (where the registered voters live).
Attorney Shepardson agreed to a postponement of Friday’s 10 a.m. hearing until 2 p.m. so he could discuss these matters first with officials in New Haven.
Laughter could be heard in the room as the four huddled briefly in Tramantano’s office.
As they emerged, Shepardson said he saw no reason to proceed with the 2 p.m. hearing. He pronounced himself “pleased” with the “information and cooperation” he received from “Victor” and the registrars.
“Right now based on the information I have I’m going to recommend to the client that we not go any further on this. I think the ballots they ordered are sufficient,” Shepardson said.
He confirmed after noon that the campaign would drop the case.
On Thursday, Bolden lashed out at McMahon’s court filing. He noted that the campaign sent him a letter Monday at the height of Superstorm Sandy and demanded a response by late Tuesday; Bolden didn’t receive the letter until Wednesday. He called the allegations bogus “political games.” The McMahon campaign argued that it was trying to ensure that everyone gets to vote in New Haven. The filing took places days before the Nov. 6 election for Connecticut’s open U.S. Senate seat, an election in which New Haven, with its large Democratic majority, is expected to play an influential role.
Read about all the specifics from both sides in this story.
All was amicable as the lawyers left the meeting at the registrars’ office.
“Herb’s a good guy,” Bolden said. “Hopefully this matter’s resolved.”