Chalk up another confirmed House seat for the Democrats! Connecticut Democratic candidate Joe Courtney’s victory over Republican Rep. Rob Simmons was confirmed on Tuesday by “results of a roller-coaster recount that stretched nearly a week and uncovered significant vote-counting flaws.”
Recounts showed that Courtney won by 91 votes instead of the 167-vote margin counted on election night, according to results tabulated by town clerks and reported to The Associated Press. Nearly 250,000 votes were cast.
Both parties monitored the recount and confirmed that Courtney had the final edge, although their figures differed. Republicans said their count showed Courtney winning by 96 votes, while Democrats had the margin at 93.
Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz planned a news conference Wednesday morning to announce the official results.
Preliminary Election Day returns had given Courtney a slight edge, but the margin fluctuated wildly when towns re-examined their voting machines and envelopes of absentee ballots and began rechecking their original counts.
Courtney claimed victory the day after the election and was in Washington this week to attend orientation sessions. But he kept a nervous eye on the recount, which showed his already-slim lead narrowing even further.
All eyes are still on the FL-13 race as a court battle begins while the counting continues. TPM Muckraker reported earlier today:
Lawyers for Democratic House candidate Christine Jennings threw down the gauntlet yesterday, asking a state court to secure electronic voting machines and data used in the election.
The move would preserve the equipment in Florida’s Sarasota County for scrutiny by Jennings’ legal team. A hearing on the suit is scheduled for this afternoon.
The Herald Tribune reports that a “survey of officials who ran Sarasota County polling places shows that voting problems were widespread and many voters were frustrated in attempts to vote in the District 13 congressional race.”
More than one-third of precinct officials responding said they received complaints that voters struggled to get their votes to register.
Poll workers’ experiences seem to support claims by hundreds of voters who said they did not intentionally skip the District 13 race to protest negative campaigning.
As we wait for the final counts on approximately 6 more House races, it’s a good time to think about writing your Reps and Senators and asking them to push election reform in the new Congress. Dianne Feinstein the incoming Chairwoman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committeeannounced today that she “plans to introduce legislation to help ensure the accuracy of future federal elections by requiring that electronic voting machines print a paper record which can be verified by the voter and is subject to an independent audit to help ensure that the machines are secure from error.”