Rep. Green sues to overturn two-vote loss in recount

Rep. Kenneth P. Green, D-Hartford, filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging his two-vote, recount loss in the Democratic primary to Matt Ritter.

Under the law, the case will go to trial within days. Hartford Superior Court Judge Susan Peck scheduled a status conference for Wednesday afternoon, with testimony to begin as early as Friday.

Green alleged procedural improprieties in a recount that turned his a two-vote primary night win into an equally close recount loss. He also claimed his opponent was supported by a dead voter.

Without identifying the voter, Green alleged that he has reason to believe that one of Ritter’s votes was cast on an absentee ballot by a voter who died on Aug. 9, the day before the primary.

Ritter’s attorney, Daniel J. Krisch, said the claim about the deceased voter was curious on two counts. One, it is a felony violate the secrecy of the ballot. And two, state law indicates that the vote would count, in any case.

“A vote by absentee ballot is cast when it is mailed in by the absentee voter and not on the day of the primary or election,” Krisch said.

Green’s lawyer is Steven Seligman, who says the law is unclear. The law specifically allows an absentee vote of a member of the military to count, if killed. But it is silent about others, he said.

Green was elected in 1994 to the 1st House District, which covers the West End and Blue Hills neighborhoods of Hartford, as well as the southwest corner of Bloomfield.

Ritter is a city councilman and the son of the former speaker of the House, Thomas D. Ritter.

The defendants include Ritter and the registrars of voters in Hartford and Bloomfield. The suit makes no claims of impropriety against Ritter.

“Our claim is concerned solely with the process,” Seligman said. “It is not directed at the Ritter campaign.”