By signing her name at 11:08 a.m. today, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz certified the victory of Dannel P. Malloy in Connecticut’s closest gubernatorial election in 56 years.
The certification of all election results is a routine function most years, but the closeness of the race for governor and the drama of a late and confusing count in Bridgeport drew more attention to a ministerial act that closes the books on the 2010 election.
Bysiewicz called it “a once-in-a-generation election.”
It was — in more ways than one.
For Bysiewicz, it was marked by a stunning series of events that left her on the sidelines. She ended an exploratory run for governor to become a candidate for attorney general, only to be declared unable to meet the statutory qualifications for the office.
Even her certification of the election results became an ordeal, caused by the chaos in Bridgeport. For the first time since moving away from lever voting machines after 2006 to a combination of paper ballots and optical scanners, a city had a major shortage of ballots.
Bridgeport ran out in 12 of its 25 polling places and was forced to rely on photocopies ballots that were hand counted. The city is now voluntarily going to perform a new count for posterity, but it will change nothing under the law.
Some final numbers of note: Malloy, the first Democrat to win a gubernatorial race since 1986, beat Republican Tom Foley, 567,278 to 560,874. The margin of victory was 6,404 votes.
It was the smallest victory margin since Democrat Abe Ribicoff beat Republican John Lodge by 3,115 votes in 1954.
Malloy’s margin of victory was sixth-tenths of one percent. The presence of Tom Marsh of the Independent Party on the ballot means the next governor will take office with just under 50 percent of the vote.
The final percentages: Malloy, 49.5 percent; Foley, 48.9 percent; Marsh, 1.5 percent.
Turnout was 56.67 percent, slightly lower than the mark of 59.87 percent in 2006.
The official town-by-town, race-by-race statement of the vote is published in January, but the results also are available now on the secretary of the state’s web site.