State calls for recanvass of vote totals in 64th District

Towns in the 64th District conducted a recanvass of votes for the office of state representative and submitted their final vote tallies to the secretary of the state on Monday, Nov. 19.

The charts below show in regular text the numbers as they were reported to the secretary of the state on Wednesday, Nov. 7; the numbers in bold indicate the new numbers as reported on Nov. 19.

The nine towns in the 64th District are Canaan/Falls Village, Cornwall, Kent, North Canaan, Norfolk, Sharon and Salisbury, which are towns in The Lakeville Journal coverage area; the numbers for Goshen and parts of Torrington that are in the district are not published in this newspaper and did not need to be updated. The original vote totals for those two towns are not available at this point.

As reported in the Nov. 22 edition of The Lakeville Journal, the end results were essentially the same and Maria Horn (D) remained the victor in the race, defeating incumbent Brian Ohler (R), in the final count, by 60 votes.


On Wednesday, Nov. 14, election attorneys at the office of the secretary of the state called for a recanvass of all the votes from the nine towns in the district.

The nine towns are North Canaan, Canaan/Falls Village, Cornwall, Kent, Goshen, Salisbury, Sharon, Norfolk and part of Torrington.

On Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, the day after the election, challenger Maria Horn (D) had declared victory over incumbent Brian Ohler (R). Ohler then conceded. 

However, on Thursday morning, Nov. 8, the state announced that the vote totals were close enough that there would be an automatic recount. 

The final vote total posted at the secretary of the state website for Horn as of Wednesday morning, Nov. 14, was 5,876 votes (5,663 from Democrats and 213 Working Party votes). 

The final vote total posted at the secretary of the state website for Ohler on Wednesday was 5,825 (5,490 from Republicans and 335 Independent party votes).

Earlier in the week the website had listed the vote totals as 5,870 for Horn and 5,806 for Ohler.

Those numbers had shifted around following the election. The Lakeville Journal, while preparing its election summaries, had also noted discrepancies  from two towns between the totals recorded by the registrars of voters (which showed more total votes) and the totals reported to the secretary of the state (which showed fewer total votes). 

On Thursday morning, Nov. 8, the secretary of the state had announced an automatic recount because at that time there was less than a half of 1 percent difference between the vote totals for Ohler and Horn. That small a difference triggers an automatic recount. 

That recount was canceled a few hours later when Norfolk  amended its report and doubled the total number of votes for Horn from the Working Families party, from 12 to 24. 

Those additional 12 votes eliminated the need for a recount. 

But on the morning of Nov. 14, election attorney Ted Bromley from the office of the secretary of the state announced that town clerks and election moderators would be required to do a recanvass of all votes in the 64th District because amended reports had changed the vote total, making the end results close enough to require a second look. 

The letter said that, as of Nov. 14, the vote totals were 5,876 for Horn and 5,825 for Ohler, a 51-vote difference.

In his letter to the town clerks and election officials, he chided them for turning in their final vote totals so late. 

“Only recently have towns in your district reviewed and amended head moderators’ returns with our office that change the vote totals for the candidates within the 64th Assembly District in such a way as to bring the vote total difference between the winning and losing candidate within the margin of a recanvass.  

“I feel it is important to remind you all of the statutory duty imposed upon the town clerk, registrar of voters and head moderator; a statutory duty that was supported by the Town Clerks Association and Registrars of Voters Association.  Had this statutory duty been complied with, a recanvass would have been identified by Friday, November 9, 2018.”

Technically, the recanvass has to be completed by Wednesday, Nov.  14. Bromley’s letter to the officials noted that the deadline will be delayed until Friday, Nov. 16.

“As you are aware, the statutory deadline to conduct any recanvass is TODAY, Wednesday, November 14, 2018,” Bromley’s letter said.  

“However, the main goal of all election officials is to ensure that candidate vote totals are correct and that the public has confidence in the process. 

“It is because of this important duty that we are requiring that the recanvass you will conduct must be completed no later than Friday, November 16, 2018.  Once the recanvass is complete our office will review and decide if additional action against those involved will be required.”

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, The Lakeville Journal has an early deadline and will print the issue of Nov. 22 on Monday, Nov. 19 (instead of the usual deadline on Tuesday). It is likely that the new totals will not be announced in time for that print edition; however, the results of the recanvass will be posted online at www.tricornernews.com as soon as they become available.


- Cynthia Hochswender



Click charts for larger versions. 64th District is now in recanvass, as of Nov. 14, 2018.

Barkhamsted 2018 Results.jpg285.21 KB
Colebrook 2018 Results.jpg286.68 KB
Winchester 2018 Results.jpg312.04 KB
Canaan-Falls Village 2018 Results.jpg286.88 KB
Cornwall 2018 Results.jpg292.81 KB
Kent 2018 Results.jpg321.62 KB
Norfolk 2018 Results.jpg274.18 KB
North Canaan 2018 Results.jpg298.44 KB
Salisbury 2018 Results.jpg284.28 KB
Sharon 2018 Results.jpg266.49 KB