Disputed race in 120th District could head to state's highest court

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STRATFORD -

The disputed election results in the race for the 120th state House District could be headed to the state's highest court.

On Election Day, some 76 voters cast ballots in the wrong state House race. Democrat Phil Young was declared the winner over Republican Jim Feehan in the 120th District by 13 votes.

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WATCH: 120th District candidates debate

Both sides in the race appeared before a judge Monday in Bridgeport Superior Court. Feehan is calling for a whole new election, but the judge isn't even sure she has the authority to do that.

The judge urged both sides to take the case directly to the state Supreme Court in Hartford, but it could take weeks to get a hearing there.

The judge refused to order Connecticut's secretary of state to not certify a winner in the race for now. But she could revisit the matter before Friday's deadline.

Young says only the state Legislature, and not the courts, has the authority to resolve the race.

"I think you're headed into uncharted territory to an extent here," Young says. "But that would be up to the Legislature to decide on what the recourse would be."

If the matter ultimately goes to state lawmakers, they are under no obligation to call for a new election. So the race could be decided by politicians, and not voters.

Feehan says that's unfair.

"It's putting the fox in charge of the hen house. How can I ever expect to be treated fairly by a Democratic majority?" he says.

"If it goes to the legislature, they make a decision as to whether there should be a re-election, whether there should be a partial re-election, or what should happen," says Young.

Both sides are working on a plan to take the matter straight to the state Supreme Court. But even if they agree to take it up, it could be weeks before there's a hearing, and even longer for a ruling.

It means voters could be waiting until next year to find out if they'll have to redo this year's election.

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