The November 6 mid-term election stirred up emotions nationwide, but even this corner of Connecticut saw its share of election drama, with the results in the 17th state senatorial district requiring a recount.
Democrat Jorge Cabrera led the voting in Woodbridge, and when the local registrars uploaded the results to the state past midnight, the count stood at 2,164 for Cabrera to incumbent George Logan’s 1,684. But Woodbridge is only one of seven towns, parts of which make up the 17th district. In addition to the bigger part of Woodbridge, the 17th district includes Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, and parts of Hamden and Naugatuck.
The results as uploaded to the Secretary of the State’s office seemed to indicate that indeed, Cabrera was ahead district-wide. But by Thursday he was thought to be behind by 65 votes. In a letter to the affected towns dated Thursday, Novembeer 8, 2018, the Secretary of the State informed the towns of the necessity for a recount. What had happened?
Woodbridge resident Chuck Pyne, who served as campaign chairman for Sen. Logan, said the night of the election the campaign believed to be ahead by 119 votes, but then they saw the results on the state website, which showed that Cabrera had won by 187 votes. The following day, they sat down to compare the results called in by their own campaign volunteers in the seven towns with the results published by the Secretary of the State. The discrepancy clearly had occurred in Ansonia, Logan’s hometown.
The Ansonia registrars were called back, and they found typos in two places, typos that eventually had led to an exaggerated vote count for Cabrera, Pyne said. The revised results were filed with the state, which now put Logan ahead by 65 votes. The margin is small enough to trigger a re-count, which was scheduled to take place this week, in Woodbridge on Wednesday, November 14.
The recount also will correct the Woodbridge total, where several ballots were not read properly by the machine and had to be read by the moderator but had not been included in the final count, Pyne said. Cabrera picked up 17 votes from those ballots, and Logan picked up 5, which narrows the vote difference even more.
The election workers who worked the polls on November 6 will be recalled for the recount, Pyne said, at least those who worked in Voting District 1, which is part of the 17th District. Woodbridge is split between two senatorial districts. The smaller part is part of the 14th District, which pitted Democrat James Maroney against Republican Pam Staneski. Maroney won, here and district-wide.
As for Pyne, he is happy when this chapter is over and he can return to his normal life. “We are happy to be at the right side of the recount,” he said.
Cabrera had not commented by the end of last week on the turn of events. “We will see where the recount is,” said Nancy Spagnolo, a member of the campaign.
By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent