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Uncounted Ballot Turns Out Not To Be Deciding Factor; Primary Ruled A Tie

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Hartford election officials conduct a recount of a Democratic primary in the state House fifth district in Hartford and Windsor, as lawyers look on.  A judge later declared candidates Leo Canty and Brandon McGee tied, and ordered a second vote.  Photo by WTIC's Matt Dwyer.

Hartford election officials conduct a recount of a Democratic primary in the state House fifth district in Hartford and Windsor, as lawyers look on. A judge later declared candidates Leo Canty and Brandon McGee tied, and ordered a second vote. Photo by WTIC’s Matt Dwyer.

A Superior Court judge Wednesday  declared a General Assembly primary a tie.  That means there will be a new primary in the Fifth District race for the Democratic nomination.

The district covers parts of Hartford and Windsor.

Candidates Leo Canty and Brandon McGee were tied going into the courtroom where the judge opened an absentee ballot which had gone uncounted because the voter was mistakenly marked “deceased.”

But instead of deciding the election, the last uncounted vote went to the third candidate, Don Trinks, who had finished well behind the two frontrunners.

There was tension in the courtroom, as the judge opened the inner envelope containing the ballot.  One man in the gallery swore under his breath.

But there was laughter, when one of the lawyers who was allowed to look at the ballot, indicated that it was a vote for Trinks.

Before revealing the vote,  the judge issued an order that the woman’s name not be published by media outlets,  because of her right to a secret ballot.

Her name had been mentioned during the recount,  and was previously published by the Manchester Journal-Inquirer.

Windsor’s Democratic registrar of voters explained that the ballot was marked deceased, because a member of her staff had mistakenly changed the voter’s computer record, to list the woman as having died.

Registrar Anita Mips said she spoke to the staff member, who did not know why she had changed the entry.

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