(Updated) Nearly three days after polls closed, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz was expected to announce Friday evening that Democrat Dan Malloy won the governor’s seat by 5,637 votes. But she never showed up for the press conference and instead fed her spokesman to the crowd of angry, tired reporters.
Bysiewicz released a statement crowning Malloy the “official” governor-elect over Republican opponent Tom Foley. Her spokesman, Av Harris, said no recount is planned. A recount is triggered only when the vote margin is 2,000 or smaller.
The announcement came hours after the town of Bridgeport finished a long, convoluted vote-counting process. Bysiewicz herself proclaimed Malloy the victor on Wednesday, based on unofficial vote tallies. On Friday, her spokesman said the total is “official,” but has yet to be certified.
“This is good news. We’ve always been confident that Dan Malloy and Nancy Wyman won this election,” said Malloy spokesman Brian Durand.
Foley’s campaign, however, said he still wasn’t satisfied with the accuracy of the “ever-changing” count.
“I understand the city of Bridgeport has submitted its most recent numbers and the Secretary of State has claimed they are official,” Liz Osborn Foley’s campaign spokeswoman said Friday. “Those numbers do not however mitigate the issues Tom spoke about today at his press conference, which includes ever-changing vote totals. Once the campaign has been able to gain additional information requested of a number of municipalities and the Secretary of State, we will comment further.”
It was the latest in a fast-paced day in an election that would not end.
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 which 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 Secretary of the State’s office around 2:20 p.m. (They also were faxed there.)
Bysiewicz was expected to emerge in public again — a personally perilous proposition for her these days — at some point late Friday to declare Malloy the winner, and perhaps answer a swirl of questions about how she conducted the election. In the end, she sent her spokesman to deal with the crowd of reporters who wanted to know why Bysiewicz wasn’t coming. “I’m not going to get into that,” Harris repeated as he was chased through the tunnel from the Legislative Office Building to the Capitol.
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 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 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 differed 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 and seven for Foley.
The final numbers driven to Bysiewicz’s office differed very slightly again, by 4 votes.
Earlier in the day Foley held a press conference to talk about his desire to get an accurate count.
Harris said it’s not uncommon as amended returns are filed for the numbers to fluctuate. Bysiewicz has until Nov. 25 to certify the vote.