(Updated 1:48 p.m.) Republican Tom 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.
An overdue official vote count in Bridgeport Friday morning completed the official work of tabulating votes in the election between Republican Foley and Democrat Dan Malloy. Even Friday morning Bridgeport’s mayor and his registrars of voters offered different numbers. But all the figures showed Malloy pulling ahead of Foley statewide by some 5,000 votes.
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 according to amended returns.
“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:
“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.
At the Friday 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.
Asked how he was doing and if he had gotten much sleep over the past few days, Foley responded that “I spent seven months in Iraq.”
“I’m used to this…I don’t get on much of a roller coaster,” he added.
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. Asked if he was as comfortable about his showing as a day ago he responded: “No, I’m not.” He said his campaign had thought Malloy had an 11,400 votes lead in Bridgeport, but numbers released Friday morning showed a close to 13,000 lead. Instead, of speculating on possible legal action 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. Meanwhile, Foley called for a meeting with the Bridgeport election officials and representatives of Malloy’s campaign to go over in detail what happened.
“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?”
In an email sent around 1:30 p.m. Malloy said he’s still confident that when the votes are tallied he will be the next governor of the state of Connecticut.
“I appreciate and respect Tom Foley’s perspective, but as Nancy and I have been since early Wednesday morning, we are 100 percent confident that we have been chosen by the voters to be Connecticut’s next Governor and Lieutenant Governor. And chosen by a margin comfortably outside what is required for a recount,” said Malloy. “As is the case with more than a few other races in other states across the country, this race is taking a few extra days to play out. Nancy and I think it should be allowed to play out in an orderly fashion and we support the process established by law.”
“We’re as anxious as everyone else is to get the final numbers,” Malloy added. “We’re also continuing our intensive efforts to create an administration that is up and running, and ready for the challenges awaiting us when we take office on January 5. To do otherwise would be irresponsible.”