Stratford election officials scrambling after residents get wrong absentee ballots


STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Stratford election officials are scrambling to fix an absentee ballot error. This isn’t the first time a mistake was uncovered and some fear this latest error could have affected the last three election cycles.

In 2018, a statehouse race in Stratford’s 120th General Assembly district was decided by 13 votes. Voters got the wrong ballot at the polling location. This time, the error appears to come down to a new apartment building.

Rep. Phil Young, “They found that out the day of the election. This time luckily it’s six days before the election.”

Representative Phil Young is the incumbent and says this apartment building on Stratford Avenue didn’t exist when the district voting lines were drawn in 2013.

The apartment complex address is inbetween both the 120th and 121st house districts.

The candidates; Democrat Joe Gresko versus Republican Ed Shinto in the 121st and Democrat
Phil Young versus Republican Jim Feehan in the 120th – all could be affected.

Young’s Republican opponent Jim Feehan was out door knocking and uncovered the address error. His campaign reported the issue to the Stratford Town Clerk.

Rep. Phil Young says, “This has to do with registrar of voters not doing what they are supposed to be doing.”

The Democratic Registrar admitted people who live in the apartments were assigned to the wrong district, which means they may have voted with the wrong ballot for 3-election cycles.

“It’s not like we can go over and fix spilt milk,” added Young.

Election officials report 277 voters may be affected. 59 Absentee ballots were sent out.
45 have already been filled out and returned.

Each voter is being called and given the opportunity to re-vote.

The Secretary of the State tells News 8 wrong ballots – which can be identified by their bar code – will be set aside and hand counted in case of a challenge.

Affected voters who chose to vote in person on Election Day and go to their designated polling location at Stratford High School will be directed to get into the right district line and will be given the right ballot.

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