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High Court Will Hear Mayoral Election Case

  Law Center  -   POSTED: 2007/11/05 16:11

The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments Monday on whether Tuesday's mayoral election in Bridgeport should be postponed. Bridgeport state Rep. Christopher Caruso requested the delay after losing the Democratic mayoral primary to state Sen. Bill Finch in September. Caruso contends that voting irregularities tainted that election, which he lost to Finch by 270 votes out of 9,000 ballots cast.

The high court will hear arguments from both sides in a two-hour session Monday morning.

The court also has approved Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz's request to speak to the justices about the veracity of the primary vote.

Caruso says Bridgeport election officials improperly stopped some voters from casting ballots and directed others to vote for Finch. A Superior Court judge dismissed Caruso's lawsuit last month challenging the results.

"There was organized chaos on Election Day that led to an unfair and dishonest election and placed in question the integrity of the election," Caruso said Friday.

Caruso said his attorney will argue that more than 20 election laws were violated and that the trial judge erred when he blocked them from presenting that information.

He also questioned whether Bysiewicz was intervening largely to defend the reputation of the optical-scan voting machines used in the primary election because she has been a strong advocate of that new technology.

"By intervening like she is, she is condoning the illegal activity of an election official, and frankly every citizen should be appalled," Caruso said.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's office will represent Bysiewicz, a fact that Caruso said was questionable because Blumenthal has endorsed Finch's mayoral campaign.

Bysiewicz said Friday that her office is unaware of any court delaying a general election in recent memory and that she worries about voter turnout for other city races if the mayoral election is delayed. "The mayor candidates are the ones that drive the turnout," she said.

She also said Superior Court Judge John Blawie's decision to reject Caruso's earlier suit was "very, very clear that no evidence was presented that any voter would have voted differently or was influenced."

Associated Press writer Donna Tommelleo in Hartford contributed to this report.


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