Missing paperwork moves New London Green Party candidate to write-in category

New London — New London Green Party mayoral candidate Frida Berrigan’s name will not appear on the election ballot in November, the result of missing paperwork.

Berrigan, disappointed but undeterred, plans to continue as a write-in candidate.

The legislative and elections administration division of the Secretary of the State's Office informed Greens this week that a required letter of endorsement was not on file. The deadline for submitting minor party endorsement was Sept. 4 and the mix-up was not discovered until after the ballot lottery results were submitted to the state last week.

Berrigan’s endorsement letter is dated Aug. 4 and Berrigan said she thinks the Greens were victims of their own efficiency, having sent the letter well before the deadline but also in the middle of a busy primary season for the Secretary of the State’s Office.

Berrigan said that, in a day and age when most everything can be done online, the process seems a bit outdated.

“It’s an added barrier in this whole process where there are already pretty high thresholds for third-party candidates,” she said.

New London Green Party Chairwoman Ronna Stuller, who is running for a seat on the City Council, said the incident is indicative of “how the complex procedures required for candidates overburden local and state election officials and discourage minor party activity.”

“With an August 7 deadline for submission of petitions for minor party and independent candidates, as well as for Democrats and Republicans seeking primary challenges, the LEAD office probably received tens of thousands of sheets of paper that week,” Stuller said in a statement. “Taking advantage of new technologies to streamline electoral procedures would, in addition to updating the design of Connecticut ballots, enhance democracy and inclusiveness in our state.”

Berrigan said her campaign would continue.

“Our goals, in addition to victory, have always been to engage more New Londoners in the political life of our city and collectively honor and repair the injustices of the past,” Berrigan said in a statement.

“New London’s future relies upon new energy, interest, and ideas brought to the table and shared by the Green Party’s slate of candidates. Despite this setback, we are as excited as ever about the prospect of a new vision for New London,” she said.

Upon hearing the news, Democratic Mayor Michael Passero, who is seeking a second term in office, and Republican mayoral candidate Marty Olsen both said they were disappointed.

“The Green Party is very active in the city. I appreciate their passions and I believe she does represent the Green Party well," Passero said.

“Competition is healthy. The exchange of ideas is healthy,” said Olsen, who currently is a City Council member.

Berrigan and fellow Greens are hosting a House Party at The Big House, 17 Granite St., on Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. Berrigan said she plans to remind voters that there will be a spot on the ballot for her name.

“All they have to do is write ‘Frida,’ and they don’t even have to spell it right,” Berrigan said.



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