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CT Special Elections: Democrat Smith claims victory, Republican Farnen wins in Fairfield

Politics

MANSFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — Two seats in the State House of Representatives were up for grabs on Tuesday, and one district even counted votes by hand.

When all was said and done, the ratio of Democrats and Republicans stayed the same in the House of Representatives with Democrats holding 91 seats and Republicans filling 59.

RELATED: In CT Special Elections Democrat Smith claims disputed victory, Republican Farnen victorious in Fairfield

In Mansfield, the 48th district seat where Linda Orange once held the seat, but died a few months ago. Volunteers hand-counted ballots instead of using the machine. Many concerned it would not be as accurate.

It’s a counting method the State Democrat Party Chair Nancy Wyman tells News 8 was a way to cut down on an expensive election year ahead.

News 8 has learned last week attorneys contacted the Secretary of the State’s office to ask for help to step in with concern that ballots would not be secure.

In the end Democrat Brian Smith claimed victory with 352 votes, beating out Republican Mark DeCaprio’s 137 count. Late last night, DeCaprio said he may demand a recount.

According to officials, the totals include absentee votes. In-person turnout was 469 out of 1789 registered voters.

RELATED: Long-time lawmaker, State Representative Linda Orange passes away

We spoke with representatives from both Republican and Democratic candidate campaigns were on hand while volunteers counted each vote.

“The town spent a lot of money on these new tabulating machines so I’m not sure why they have to do it by a hand count. If you look at voting is a very simple process everyone just gets one vote each and you add the numbers up.”

“In this fiscal year, we had a municipal election there will be presidential primaries in April and this is a special election. So the expense of elections this year is really quite high.”

Now the other seat was in Fairfield in the 132nd District. Republicans held onto that seat as Brian Farnen defeated Democrat Jennier Leaper.

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