Deadlocked Committee on Contested Elections passes ball to whole House

Yesterday, the Connecticut House Committee on Contested Elections concluded its work on the contested election in Stratford. They provided two options to the House: Leave the certified winner in office or hold a re-vote. You can read more at CTMirror: House committee deadlocks on disputed Stratford election  <read> The CTMirror article includes the final report.

The crux of the issue is that after a recanvass the certified winner was ahead by 13 votes. 75 voters were given the wrong ballot, without that race. The votes counted in the pooling place district favored the loser, in fact if the 75 had voted as the rest of the district, on average the loser would have picked up 12.55 votes, thus on average, all but even odds for each candidate. The crux of the disagreement is around the issue of if that evidence brought the uncertainty of the election in question enough to justify a re-vote.

Our context is the work of Edward B. Foley, recapped in his book Ballot Battles which covers how close elections have been decided in this country starting before the Constitution. Sadly the tradition is that, with only two exceptions, whenever a close election is turned over to a body to decide, the decision is the same as you would expect had the decisions been made politically. That is the case here. This does not mean that all decisions are wrong. It is likely that about 50% are correct. In this case, it is possible that all four representatives reached their conclusions without bias. The Committee members and ultimately all members of the House will be left with the political judgment of the voters on this matter.

I have attended all of the Committee meetings and found the whole process fascinating. You  might and might not. The videos are at CT-N: <Vidoes>

All the testimony is in the meetings on January 24th and 25th. There is a bombshell at the end of the meeting on the 24th, yet to appreciate it, you need to watch from the beginning. The debate between the members on the conclusions takes most of the meeting on February 1st.


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