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Erroneous election report filed by registrar of voters office

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 4.
The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 4.

NORWALK, Conn. – The recent primary race for Republican Registrar of voters was all about personality, professionalism and competence, and may well have turned on an election-week error by the John Federici campaign when a mailing went out with incorrect information about where to vote in the 142nd District.

Incumbent Karen Doyle Lyons based her campaign on her reputation in the state as one of Connecticut’s best when it comes to running elections, and she and her supporters took full advantage of the error.

It turns out, Federici’s campaign is not the only one to make a mistake.

An incorrect report prepared after the Aug. 12 election by the election moderator was filed with the Secretary of the State’s office. The error was discovered Wednesday morning, Aug. 13, and quickly corrected by Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells, who sent an amended report via certified mail, return receipt requested.

The mistake involved the total number of votes cast in each party.

For the Democrats, who had races in only two districts, the total sent to Hartford did not include absentee ballots cast, although those votes were included in the candidate totals and noted elsewhere on the report (Part II, No. 1, Line B).

On the Republican side, there were three statewide races and the registrars contest that covered all districts, plus the state rep runoff in the 142nd. When those voters were totaled, the wrong figure – by lots – was written in and sent to the state. The report gave the impression that there was a 78 percent GOP voter turnout in Norwalk instead of about 20 percent. The report claimed 6,725 of the eligible 8,532 Republican voters cast ballots (Part II, No. 1, Line B).

See the report here: Norwalk Primary Election Voter Totals

“Unfortunately, when they put the totals on the back they put the totals of who didn’t vote,” said Lyons, who did not work the election because of her involvement as a candidate. Wednesday, Wells caught the error and sent an amended report.

“It was faxed and sent certified mail at 1 p.m.” Wednesday, Lyons said.

Lyons said in her campaign literature she is one of two registrars in the state certified to train chief polling site moderators.

The erroneous report was filed by the primary’s head moderator, Carol Watson. Watson is Lyons’ daughter.

The assistant head moderator Aug. 12 was Elizabeth Lyons – no relation to the registrar but the wife of Board of Education Chairman Mike Lyons.

Last year, Emily Wilson was chief moderator, Lyons said. Wilson was not available this year because she was a candidate for state representative in the 142nd District, a race she lost to Fred Wilms.

Watson had been an assistant moderator in the past, Lyons said, but did not participate in 2013.

Comments

7 responses to “Erroneous election report filed by registrar of voters office”

  1. Stuart Wells

    The initial Head Moderators’ reports were faxed in to the Secretary of the State’s office before midnight on the night of the election. This is at the end of a 20 hour work day, which is why we always double check all the numbers the next morning. The candidate results were all correct, but some of the totals used in calculating turnout percentage (total ballots cast / total active voters) needed to be fixed. At that point the Head Moderators made the necessary corrections to their returns and sent them in.
    All fixed and corrected in under 14 hours.
    Stuart Wells, Registrar

  2. Al

    This is very embarrasing for Norwalk. 100 + communities in the state can send up an accurate report but Norwalk can not because their poll workers are tired and the registrars do not double check what is being sent to the state? No question it is a very long day and I give much credit to the poll workers who give their time during Elections. But for Mr. Wells and Ms. Lyons this is their JOB & they need to be sure that they are doing their job correctly and most efficiently! Yes, it is a very long day but as Registrar of Voters, you would anticipate just that, during a primary or any election for that matter. What exactly is going on in that office. They get a pretty decent salary on tax payer dollars-why is it that they can not do their job? Sorry but when it comes to the accuracy of who voted in an election, this Seems like very poor management/training. This is quite a large mistake to make. Competancy and professionalism not at its best in the Norwalk Registrars office.

  3. Val B

    Wow, this is shocking! When will the press conference be? How is it that nepotism can be so deeply entrenched that while Karen Lyons sits out, she then hires her entire family to work in the election?

    Stuart Wells…nice try at spin, but you can’t quite sell it. There is some reason that everyone else can do this correctly, but your office is the only one in Connecticut that can’t figure out the true information to submit?

    No one thought to question a 78% voter turnout? You could keep me up at hard labor for 3 days and I wouldn’t believe that. Completely incompetent and more than likely a conspiracy to boot in my mind.

  4. One and Done

    BFD. Those must be some real sour grapes Al, huh?

  5. Rocking Horse

    O&D, where is the normal witty remark and anger? A big mistake made by a city agency, by elected folks who earn a pretty decent wage for one or two hard days work during the year, and you don’t think it warrants a comment?

    I am shocked not only at the error, but at the attempted cover up and the hiring of family and friends. Where are these election jobs advertised? How can I get one? Or must I be related to Karen or Stuart for that?

    If you can’t have one person do the addition and another check it, maybe you shouldn’t be doing this job. I think the story is bigger than is being reported.

  6. One and Done

    Fair points Rocking Horse. Still sounds like sour grapes here or am I missing something?

  7. Sunnie Kaplan

    Lyons may be “the best” at doing her work but she is “the worst” at personality and attitude.

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