Ruling the results of the hand count he ordered were unreliable, Superior Court Judge Barry Stevens on Tuesday ordered a new Democratic primary between incumbent State Rep. Jack Hennessy and City Councilman Marcus Brown in Connecticut’s 127th Assembly District.
Election officials will huddle later today to establish a timeline for a new primary that likely will take place in November followed by a general election around the new year.
To say the ebbs and flows of this court navigation have produced judicial whiplash is a gross understatement. On August primary night Brown held a five-vote lead when the votes were tabulated triggering an automatic recount. The recanvassing gave Hennessy a one-vote edge but with nine absentee ballots not counted because they were stashed away in a bag of another district.
Brown ran into court. The parties stipulated to a hand recount approved by Stevens. The manual count of all the ballots including those not counted in the initial recanvassing tilted the lead to Brown by two votes. Hennessy initiated a counter claim asserting irregularities with the processing of absentee ballot applications.
In his ruling Stevens bypassed the allegations made by Hennessy focusing his decision instead on “mistake in the count of the votes” by election officials.
So the judge discounted irregularities with absentee ballot applications but drew his conclusion on how election officials processed the hand recount requested by the legal parties.