Vernon Mayor Jason McCoy said Friday that he visited polling locations in Bridgeport on election night and in the days following and encountered numerous questionable practices by poll workers.
McCoy, who also is a Republican and an attorney, said he returned from Bridgeport this morning and the election officials there “still don’t have the number of ballots.”
He said there were about 23,000 voters checked off the voter list, but about 21,000 voted for governor. He said as he traveled from polling place to polling place on election night he saw several people walk through the door and vote without being checked off the master list.
At one location on Lincoln Avenue, McCoy said he found ballots stuffed in brown paper bags on the ground, poll workers handing out ballots stuck together, people being handed more than one ballot, and some just walking around the polling area without checking in with officials.
McCoy, who said he has worked at polling places in the past, said he and the other poll watchers did their best to make the poll workers aware of the problems but said the scene was chaotic.
At the end of the day “it’s all Susan Bysiewicz’s fault,” McCoy said. “She should have been there last night.”
“It’s easy to criticize Bridgeport officials when you’re sitting in Hartford pontificating,” he said of Bysiewicz, “but she has 100 employees. Couldn’t she have sent some of them down to help with the count or at the polls when she realized there was a problem?”
McCoy criticized Bysiewicz for what he called “unbelievable” and “appalling” behavior in the aftermath of this election.
He also said that Bysiewicz shut down the Secretary of the State’s office on election night in 2006 when the state’s U.S. Representative race between Democrat Joe Courtney and Republican Rob Simmons was close enough to trigger an automatic recount. Courtney was declared the victor days later after the recanvass.
But Bysiewicz maintained Thursday that elections are run by the locally elected Registrars of Voters, and that she can only advise them of what they need to do.