From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:
The Secretary of the State’s Office has turned down a request from Mary-Jane Foster’s campaign to proactively send observers to the polls for Tuesday’s heated mayoral showdown with Joseph Ganim.
“We don’t have the authority to intervene where there is no inappropriate activity,” Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said by phone. “We need evidence something has happened to do anything.”
The request from Foster’s side came because state statutes hinder her and other petition candidates from sending so-called unofficial checkers to monitor the polls for potential fraud. These campaign loyalists can also alert campaigns to motivate supporters who are not turning out.
Under state law, major party candidates like Ganim, who beat Foster and Mayor Bill Finch in the Sept. 16 Democratic primary, can use checkers. Petition candidates must be part of a slate of at least three people.
Foster is running by herself as an independent Democrat. The fact that she has been endorsed by Finch and inherited some of his political infrastructure has elevated her profile and prospects of winning over those of the average minor candidate.
Foster’s campaign manager, Tom Swan, appealed to Merrill after Bridgeport Democratic Registrar Santa Ayala, who has been involved in some high-profile voting controversies, denied Foster’s list of poll checkers.
Ayala cited state statutes.
“We think this is a clear example of how she’s doing everything in her power to help Ganim,” said Swan in an interview, arguing that Ayala has the flexibility to allow checkers.
Full story here.