Bridgeport, Connecticut’s largest city, once again does not disappoint for its whiplashing politics. Four years ago it was the surreal world of Joe Ganim reclaiming the mayoralty. Now it’s about him trying to secure another four-year contract from voters following a contentious primary, lower court action that went his way with an appeal now before the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Tuesday night’s vote tally will take a while to complete because of the write-in campaign of Marilyn Moore who lost a close primary to Ganim.
Moore, MaryAnn McLaine, Jeff Kohut and Ethan Book all have registered with the state to qualify as write-in candidates.
When the polls close Tuesday at 8 p.m. the optical scan voting machines at more than 20 precincts will produce a tape reflecting the results of each candidate on the ballot. Results of write-in candidates won’t be known immediately because they must be hand counted by elections officials at the polls.
“In a write-in candidacy, the tabulator automatically sorts ballots that have the write-in bubble filled in into a special container so that the write-in votes can be hand-counted at the end of Election Day,” says Gabe Rosenberg, communications director for the Connecticut Secretary of the State. “All ballots where the voter’s intent to vote for a registered write-in candidate is clear should be counted.”
Precincts where Ganim runs strongest won’t have a lot of write-in ballots. Areas enthusiastic for Moore such as Black Rock and West Side will have more to hand count.
Distinguishing voter intent will come into play. If an elector writes in Moore, it’s clear. If another voter writes in MM, it will be accorded to no one because those are the initials of MaryAnn McLaine as well.
Did you expect a tamping down of absentee ballots in the general election after the primary results and a subsequent lawsuit contesting them? Hasn’t happened. According to calculations by the Town Clerk’s Office about 1,500 electors will cast a ballot via absentee, roughly the same as the primary. Most of those will go into the Ganim column.
So once again, if Moore has any traction as a write-in candidate she most run up large numbers in her strength areas, particularly Black Rock, West Side and North End. After that it becomes mostly Ganim territory in the central and eastern portions of the city.
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