State lawmakers grill election officials about ballot mix-up in Stratford

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STRATFORD -

Stratford election officials spoke to state lawmakers Thursday regarding the ballot mix-up in the disputed 120th House District race.

On Election Day, 76 voters cast ballots in the wrong state House race at Bunnell High School. Election workers say a voter discovered the mistake at 2:30 p.m.

In spite of that, voter registrars admitted they never notified the candidates until three days later.

The ballot mix-up set off a legal battle that went all the way to the state Supreme Court.

MORE:  Winner of disputed Stratford House race to return with lawmakers Wednesday
MORE:  Disputed race in 120th District could head to state's highest court

Democrat Phil Young had won the race by just 13 votes and his Republican challenger, Jim Feehan, says he wants a new election.

The precinct moderator at the high school says he may have grabbed the wrong stack of ballots, but he doesn't know for sure. He says the stack could have been mislabeled.

Election officials insisted they told poll workers to double check ballots before handing them out. A poll worker denied being told that the morning of elections.

"I was just told what my job was, and that's what I did," says the poll worker.

State lawmakers will determine if there will be a new election and will hear more testimony Friday.

Election officials say ballots in Stratford are usually color-coded to prevent mix-ups, but that didn't happen that election because a third party got their paperwork in late.

The lawmakers must report to the legislature by Feb. 4.

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