State election officials have fined a Massachusetts woman $4,000 for voting in Connecticut with an absentee ballot that tied a primary race in Groton that had to be decided by a coin toss.
The state Elections Enforcement Commission has fined Alicia Primer, of Weston, Massachusetts, who has a second home in Groton. While Groton is not her primary residence, Primer had told The New London Day that she thought she could vote because she owned property there.
The situation figured in a tie vote in a Democratic party primary for state representative in August 2006.
When the results were tallied last August, candidate Rita Schmidt had one vote more than her opponent, Elissa Wright. But when the mandatory recount was completed, state officials determined that one more absentee ballot should have been counted, resulting in a tie vote. That absentee ballot was the one cast by Primer.
Wright won the Democratic nomination for a state House seat in Groton last summer by a coin toss and then went on to win the general election. One of her first acts as a lawmaker was to help pass a new state law that replaced coin tosses with runoff elections in cases of tie votes.
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