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Second Recount Set In East Haven   (CT)

Associated Press    13 November 2007

EAST HAVEN - Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz ordered a second recount of ballots in East Haven's mayoral election Monday after discrepancies turned up in the first recount.

Democrat April Capone-Almon won last week's election by 21 votes over Republican Mayor Joseph Maturo, according to vote counts on Election Day.

An automatic recount was required under state law because of the slim margin.

Local officials counted the paper ballots Sunday and found that Capone-Almon had a bigger lead than in the first tally.

Head moderator Lori Jaffe declined to reveal the exact vote discrepancy, but said the victory margin is now about 50 to 60 votes. She also said there is a difference between the number of ballots counted and the number of voters who came in on Election Day.

Town officials planned to recount the ballots again Wednesday. Bysiewicz has also told election officials to recount the number of voters who went to the polls.

Bysiewicz said local officials checked in 8,019 voters at the polls, but there were 8,133 ballots. She said that if the two numbers cannot be reconciled, she will refer the matter to the state Elections Enforcement Commission for an investigation.

"It's troubling, and that's why we have to look at the ballots again," Bysiewicz said, adding that "114 votes is a very large discrepancy."

She said she believes that the problem was not the result of anything intentional and was not related to the new voting machines.

Jaffe said the discrepancy could stem from human error because this was the first election in which optical scan voting machines were used statewide in place of the old lever machines. Jaffe told the New Haven Register that the new voting system may have confused some voters. "They might get a ballot, make a mistake on it, then go to the clerk and get a second one," she said.

Jaffe said nothing would happen Monday because town hall and state offices were closed for Veterans Day. Jaffe has until Friday to certify the election results.

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