HARTFORD, CT — (Updated 4:30 p.m.) Connecticut’s 169 municipalities will have to repurchase ballots over the next few days now that one of the gubernatorial candidates has found a new running mate.
Mark Stewart Greenstein, who petitioned his way onto the ballot under the Amigo Constitution Liberty Party, informed the Secretary of the State’s office in September that his running mate Michelle D. Ambrosio dropped out. In order to be named on Connecticut’s ballot a gubernatorial candidate must have a running mate.
The Secretary of the State’s office, according to spokesman Gabe Rosenberg, said they informed Greenstein that absentee ballots needed to be printed and ready to hand out to voters starting on Oct. 5.
“He knew as early as Sept. 18 what the situation was,” Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg said they waited until the last possible second to have the towns send the ballots to the printer. That’s because collectively, it will cost about $200,000 to $250,000 to reprint the ballots.
If the original batch of ballots don’t reach the towns by today, the Secretary of the State’s office has informed towns to print out ballots like they would if they had run out of them on Election Day.
“If someone comes into your office on Friday wanting a ballot, explain the situation and offer the PDF copy or to mail when you receive actual absentee ballot. The downside to this is that those ballots will have to be hand counted. This is an emergency solution for this case only, “ Heather Augeri an Elections Officer wrote all town clerks Oct. 1.
Greenstein said in an email that he plans to find a running mate.
As of 4:30 p.m. Friday he named John Demitrus of West Hartford as his running mate.
Greenstein said he’s asked 48 people over the last four weeks and none of them have agreed. It’s unclear what convinced Demitrus, who Greenstein described as a businessman, to join Greenstein’s campaign.
Greenstein had until Oct. 16 to nominate someone to the spot. He technically has until Oct. 12 to change his mind and nominate someone else.
Town clerks were informed that if someone requests a new ballot in order to vote for Greenstein and Demitrus, they can void the old ballot.
The military and overseas ballots were already mailed on Sept. 21 without his name.