Judge Stevens Limits Hennessy’s Evidence To Court-Ordered Hand Count In State House Contest

In a legal blow to State Rep. Jack Hennessy, Superior Court Judge Barry Stevens ruled on Tuesday that Hennessy may only contest results of a court-approved hand count of all the ballots cast in the August 9 Democratic primary in which City Councilman Marcus Brown holds a two-vote advantage.

The ruling limits the scope of evidence and witnesses.

On primary night Brown held a five-vote advantage triggering an automatic recount that provided Hennessy a one-vote edge but with nine absentee ballots unaccounted for by election officials. Brown filed a court complaint arguing that if all ballots were counted he’d be the certified winner.

The hand count ordered by Stevens, with the consent of both candidates, tilted the lead to Brown once the nine ballots–stored away in the bag of another city district–were discovered. Only then did Hennessy allege voter irregularities that focused on absentee ballot applications, but not actual voting ballots.

The court hearing resumes Thursday morning.

Statement from Brown campaign:

We are very pleased with Judge Stevens’s procedural rulings today. The issue before the court at this time is the legitimacy of the results of the hand recount.

Despite several claims made in the media, there has not been a single shred of evidence presented to the court of absentee ballot fraud, nor that any votes were illegally cast or improperly counted in the 127th Primary for State Representative.

A few weeks ago after a seriously flawed recanvass showed Hennessy up by 1 vote with 9 ballots missing, the Hennessy campaign argued that the election results were valid and should be defended by the City. Now that Brown is up by 2 after a court-ordered hand recount, they are throwing out issues that have no bearing on the legitimate count of the votes in this election, hoping that something will stick.

We hope that on Thursday Judge Stevens will continue to prevent the disenfranchisement of voters and ensure that we have a legitimate count of the votes in this primary.

From Dan Tepfer, CT Post:

Hennessy’s lawyer, William Bloss, had been prepared to present six witnesses who he said would have testified that their absentee ballot applications for the Aug. 9 primary were filled out by persons other than themselves in violation of election law.

However, John Kennelly, the lawyer for Hennessy’s successful challenger, Councilman Marcus Brown, objected and Judge Barry Stevens ruled Bloss could not present the witnesses.

Stevens said he is only going to decide whether to certify the second recount for the primary.

“I’m not too much concerned with what happened at the primary vote or the first recount,” the judge said.

… “I’m not prepared to disenfranchise a voter for doing what the voter was supposed to do,” the judge said.

Full story here.



    1. Sonny, how do you know they’re not real? Those ballots were counted primary night by election officials. By human error those ballots were placed incorrectly into the holding bag of another district. Following the automatic recount, election officials announced the nine-vote disparity between the primary night vote and the recanvassing vote. Brown ran into court. Judge Stevens ordered a hand recount of all ballots. The ballots in question were discovered and calculated to give Brown the lead he had anticipated. I’m guessing those same election officials will clear up the matter, not knowing how Judge Stevens will ultimately rule.

      1. Lennie, I thought the vote count was off by 20, not 9. There are still 11 votes outstanding. No?

        We have to define Discovered. Brown ran into court challenging 20 votes, not just the 9 ABs, and the validity of the election that every vote be counted. He’s silent about the missing 11 because the 9 that were “discovered” fell in his favor. If it wasn’t, he would be in court harping on the 11 uncounted votes for a recount. The rolls seemed to reverse and the balls in Hennessy’s court to call for a new election or throw out the newly discover ABs.

        Those go Port politics. 🙂

        That being said. I was in favor ing Brown for the most part, but I “discovered” 🙂 he took a job for Park City Wind. In my mind, that’s a lobbying position to limit the potential of the Port by using its limited waterfront property for a junkyard/storage on a project that benefits other states.

        That is worse than a no-show city Job in my opinion. Can’t seem to get past that he works of a company aimed to depress the city’s waterfront and the city as a whole.

        This is where Jeff can come with Gold Coast/Hartford depressing the Port. Maybe they have a hand in teh boundary lines. JS

        Then people wonder why the Port’s success is always an uphill battle.


          1. Shillie,
            Not even Judge Stevens if he was sleeping at city hall handcuffed to the Bag of missing Ballots, and wearing a GPS ankle bracelet, cant attest to those Missing 9 Ballots, therefore inadmissible to establish the truth of a particular contention because the accuracy of the evidence can not be verified as real!


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