Committee will quiz Stratford election witnesses
HARTFORD — Lawmakers will subpoena eight people involved in running the November election in Stratford to testify next week before the legislative committee charged with determining whether a new vote should be held in the 120th House District.
The four-member, bipartisan committee decided Friday it will call to testify the Democratic Registrar Rick Marcone; Republican Registrar Lou Decilio; election Moderator Malcolm A. Starratt; GOP strategist Ben Proto; Joseph Elliott, Democratic poll moderator; Assistant Registrar David Heriot; and two Stratford ballot clerks.
Committee members did not know the names of those clerks on Friday.
The committee also asked State Rep. Phil Young, who has been sworn in to represent the district and his Republican challenger Jim Feehan, or their attorneys, to make presentations describing their positions on the election results.
Young won by 13 votes amid charges that 76 voters from a multi-district polling place were disenfranchised because they were given ballots that did not include the 120th district candidates. The state Supreme Court ruled that the House of Representatives, not the courts, must decide whether the results stand — but the secretary of the state was allowed to certify the results.
Testimony will begin at the Legislative Office building Wednesday morning and may last until Friday. The committee has until Feb. 4 to recommend whether a new election should be held. The full House will decide how to proceed.
State Reps. Michael D’Agostino, D-Hamden, Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford, Jason Perillo, R-Shelton, and Gregory Haddad, D-Storrs, sit on the committee. They reviewed witness lists submitted by Feehan and Young to the committee in order to decide Friday which people to call.
Feehan also submitted a formal complaint to the committee, similar to the one he filed to the Supreme Court, and 18 pages of supplemental documents.
While the committee does its work, Young is fully participating in the legislature, where he is vice chairman of the public health committee.
“If they decide on a new election, they decide on a new election,” he told Hearst Connecticut Media last week. “But I am looking forward to my committees and the session going forward.”
A Committee on Contested Elections is rarely convened. The last time a similar committee was formed in the Houser was in 1985. The Democratic winner, Joan Hartley of Waterbury, was allowed to keep her seat. Hartley is now a longtime state Senator.
Staff writer Ken Dixon contributed to this story.
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