CT Politics

Connecticut Politics

Merrill denies Whitnum’s bid for recount

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Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Lee Whitnum stands at a podium before a live televised debate in West Hartford, Conn., Thursday, April 5, 2012. Candidates for the seat are voicing concern about allowing Whitnum, to participate in future debates after she called U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy a "whore" for his support of Israel during a live televised debate. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Lee Whitnum stands at a podium before a live televised debate in West Hartford, Conn., Thursday, April 5, 2012. Candidates for the seat are voicing concern about allowing Whitnum, to participate in future debates after she called U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy a “whore” for his support of Israel during a live televised debate. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

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.

Categories: General
Neil Vigdor

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