CONNECTICUT’S ‘HANGING SHAD’

The two sides continue to dig in the dispute between Democrat Dan Malloy, the declared winner, and Republican Tom Foley, the candidate who the respected Associated Press has leading. Priority number one is to definitively declare a winner—“unofficial” just doesn’t cut it, not only for the candidates but for the people of the state who just might want to know who their next governor will be. After that we can try to find out just how the election came to be a national embarrassment; a combination of Key Stone Cops and Tennessee Tuxedo (we need a 3-D BB).

When I decided on a name for this blog (it was actually a friend’s idea), I was poking fun at what happened in Florida back during the 2000 Bush-Gore contest and combined that with Connecticut’s state fish. Little did I know that we would have our very own “Hanging Shad” now.

Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, who seems to have a black cloud hanging over her in this election cycle, has declared Malloy the winner but did so through “unofficial” vote tallies. She also said no recount was necessary. Foley is operating the assumption he is the winner because his campaign’s numbers and those of the AP have him ahead. The question everyone is asking me is how all these vote tallies can be different. Despite the fact that I appeared on NBC-CT Tuesday night and Wednesday morning as some sort of expert analyst, I don’t have answer to that. However, I am told from by a Capitol insider that the AP doesn’t have all the New Haven numbers that put Malloy over the top.

Once we all agree who the next governor is (and who knows how long that may take particularly if the matter goes to court), the state can concentrate on just what went wrong. The problem is painfully and unfathomably simple. Officials in Bridgeport (why is it always Bridgeport?) didn’t order enough ballots printed. They weren’t just a little off which is still inexcusable. They had about 21,000 ballots printed in a city that has nearly 70,000 registered voters. With apologies to Sister Isabelle (RIP), how the hell does that happen? There isn’t a word to describe this kind of stupidity and incompetence. Mistakes during a person’s tenure in any job are understandable. But we only do this every two years and we can’t get it right? Unreal.

So to what extent have we become Florida? Is Bysiewicz our Katherine Harris? And speaking of getting the simple things right, isn’t the secretary of state ultimately responsible for our elections?

When I named this “The Hanging Shad,” I had no idea we would have our own bitterly disputed election that now stinks like a rotting shad.