Connecticut’s top election official is closing the book on 2012 in the case of aggrieved Senate candidate Lee Whitnum.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill on Monday rejected Whitnum’s request for a town-by-town recount of the signatures that Whitnum collected last year to try to get onto the ballot.
“We are unable to accommodate your request of performing a local recount of your nominating petition signatures or to automatically place your name on the 2016 state election ballot as a petitioning candidate for U.S. Senate,” Merill wrote Whitnum in a letter.
Last week, Whitnum sent a letter to Merrill claiming that state election officials lost a packet containing “thousands of signatures” that she said would have put her over the hump of 7,500 names to earn a spot on the ballot. She also accused Merrill’s staff of dismissing her as a viable candidate, a claim disputed by Merrill’s spokesman.
In her response, Merrill said that Whitnum only collected 6,211 signatures by the Aug. 8, 2012, deadline.
Merrill wrote that Connecticut General Statutes prescribe a specific process for candidates to dispute petition drive results that Whitnum could have availed herself of, but didn’t. She added that the Secretary of the State cannot unilaterally place a candidate on the ballot and that Whitnum would have to petition again in 2016 if she has designs on running against U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.