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Election Day registration may have changed result in Griswold

By Johanna Somers

Publication: The Day

Published November 14. 2013 4:00AM   Updated November 14. 2013 11:55PM
In recount, challenger, who had 20 or more last-minute votes, nudges Anthony by just 2

Griswold - Republican candidate Kevin Skulczyck won the first selectman's race by two votes after a seven-hour recount that took place on Wednesday.

He won with 854 votes over incumbent First Selectman Philip Anthony, a Democrat, who received 852 votes. Edmund Burke, a petitioning candidate, collected 398 votes.

Skulczyck had at least 20 Election Day registration votes, while Anthony had three.

"Because Kevin Skulczyck had 20 versus Anthony with three, that was enough to where the EDR votes put him ahead, as I announced on election night," said head moderator Greg Norman.

On the night of the election, Nov. 5, Norman at first announced that Anthony had won by 16 votes but then realized he had not calculated same-day registration votes in his spreadsheet. He said he had designed an Election Day Registration vote column on his spreadsheet but forgot to update.

"Tomorrow night I will go in and change the formula to include Election Day Registration in the total vote," he said at the time.

The recount involved two local Republicans and two local Democrats examining each ballot to determine whether it could be placed in the ballot counting machine. If a voter wrote an "X" instead of filling in the circle next to a candidate's name, one of them would say they wanted that ballot hand-counted.

In the end, 33 ballots from District 1 were counted by hand and 30 from District 2, Norman said.

Anthony, who has been the first selectman of Griswold for six years, will serve on the board of selectmen because he had the second-highest vote count.

Both candidates said they had urged residents to register to vote or take advantage of same-day registration. Skulczyck's son, Jacob Skulczyck, 17, said last week that he encouraged high school friends to take advantage of same-day registration and may have gotten six to 12 students to register.

j.somers@theday.com

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