Ballot mishap in New London leaves 70 votes in question
New London — The New London Registrar of Voters’ Office is attempting to identify and contact about 70 people who inadvertently cast ballots in the wrong voting district on Tuesday.
The mishap occurred in voting District 2, Harbor Elementary School, early Tuesday where some voters were handed ballots from District 3, which is part of the 41st State House District. Joe de la Cruz is running unopposed in the 41st. The correct ballots at Harbor should have included the 39th State House District, where incumbent Democratic state Rep. Anthony Nolan is squaring off against Republican Kat Goulart.
Democratic Registrar of Voters Bill Giesing said about 70 ballots from a packet of 100 from the 41st District were mistakenly handed out after polls opened. The voting machines were rejecting the ballots, which were set aside in an auxiliary bin for hand counting later. Poll workers thought the machines were the issue but discovered their error when one voter questioned why the candidate they planned to vote for was not on the ballot.
Giesing said the error likely occurred when a poll worker mistook the Second Congressional District ballots for District 2 ballots.
Giesing said that a program used by the city helps track who voted at what time in each polling place. Election officials were attempting to contact the people who voted during the time of the mishap and invite them back to cast a ballot for the 39th District. Votes cast for the presidential race, the 2nd Congressional District and 20th District Senate seat will be counted.
“We’re going to try and rectify this as best we can,” Giesing said.
Both Nolan and Goulart said they were disappointed about the mistake and said it was unclear if the missing votes might impact the race.
Goulart said she had received a call at about 7:30 a.m. from a friend to inform her that Goulart’s name did not appear on the ballot.
“Conceivably it was a neutral mistake,” Goulart said. “But we don’t know and we’ll never know. We’ll never have the true results. It’s not a pure election anymore.”
Both Nolan and Goulart said they were never informed by the registrar’s office about the mistake.
“I wish the candidates had gotten a phone call. I understand mistakes happen but I was a little disappointed to hear from others,” Nolan said.