Bridgeport, CT -- With skirmishes and scrambles, CT-4 (D) Congressman Jim Himes was re-elected after a bruising campaign against State Senator Dan Debicella. The 4th district was one of those have-to-win-it back seats since it was previously the last republican held stronghold in New England after Himes won it in 2008 from Republican Christopher Shays after more than two decades.
The final results for federal, state and local offices were held up by a major problem in Bridgeport of too few ballots for too many voters. The problem was resolved only with "provisional" photocopied ballots and newly printed ballots dispatched to the precincts, Bridgeport Mayor bill Finch requested reverse 911 calls made and by an emergency court order: the hours extended at 16 (out of 23) precincts in 12 locations in Bridgeport. They will be hand counting ballots well past midnight.
Earlier in the day, voters, including Kathleen and Iggy Gandarillas had been turned away but someone asked for his phone # and later called him back to vote. "What I loved about the call back was it wasn't party related - the guy didn't know who we were or what party we were voting for - HE CALLED BACK BECAUSE IT IS OUR RIGHT TO BE ALLOWED TO VOTE and that is what matters!" said Kathleen. Others left the polls due to lack of ballots amongst the 23 precincts within the city of Bridgeport, CT. Just days after President Obama visited the city with the democratic nominees: Dan Malloy for Governor, CT AG Richard Blumenthal for US Senator and CT-4 US Congressman Jim Himes in order to get out the vote, but try as they did, they couldn't.
Liz Kerr Congressman Himes' Press Secretary,
"There has been tremendous turnout in Bridgeport and throughout the district today, and every voter deserves to have their vote counted. As a result of the high turnout, many polling places ran out of ballots, so the registrar provided photocopied ballots, which, under Connecticut law, are a perfectly permissible alternative for use as provisional ballots."
Visiting the epicenter of the ballot snafu, Central High School, was City Council President Tom McCarthy:
"Not having enough ballots for the voters was clearly awful but the turnout was incredible, and the great thing was to see the voters who waited and waited, refusing to leave so they could exercise their right to vote."
CT Secretary of State Susan Bysiewitz held a press conference regarding the emergency court ordered extension of two additional hours: "Priority number 1 is to give every voter the right to cast their vote."
Meanwhile, near the waterfront, there are almost 10,000 WWE fans attending a WWE Smack Down at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport.