NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) — A Hartford Superior Court judge has ordered a new election in New Britain to correct an Election Day ballot mix-up.
Judge David Sheridan ruled Thursday that the election will be Jan. 7.
The New Britain Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1cewKIE ) that 17 ballots used in Ward 5 in voting on Nov. 5 presented the names of candidates for alderman in Ward 2.
Democratic Aldermen Carlo Carlozzi Jr. and Roy Centeno, the top vote-getters who won the election, could appeal to the state Supreme Court. Their lawyer, Thomas McDonough, said a decision has not been made.
Carlozzi was outraged at the judge’s ruling, saying turnout next month will be tiny and the election decided by few voters. Turnout in Ward 5 on Election Day was 39 percent, he said.
‘‘Those votes are now all thrown out and if we are lucky, 10 or 15 percent of eligible voters will turn out to vote, so you might have 890 people deciding who represents them,’’ he said. ‘‘You can never recreate Election Day.’’
Carlozzi said he expects turnout next month to be just 15 percent.
Centeno said he’s disappointed and that a re-vote will cost taxpayers $15,000.
‘‘I feel that the minute poll workers found out those ballots did not belong, they should have been delivered to Ward 2 right away,’’ he said. ‘‘Having another election right after the holidays means those that voted are being penalized.’’
Carlozzi won 1,036 votes and Centeno received 956, defeating Republicans Lou Salvio and Iwona Rutkowski.
Salvio said the judge got it right.
‘‘The only alternative that would be fair would be to revote the whole district,’’ he said.
Information from: New Britain Herald, http://www.newbritainherald.com