North Haven state rep. gains ballot access after paperwork error

North Haven state rep. gains ballot access after paperwork error


NORTH HAVEN — A judge issued an order Tuesday that David Yaccarino appear on the ballot as the Republican candidate for the 87th House District, saying it’s in the interest of voters.

Judge Thomas Moukawsher said preventing Yaccarino, who currently holds the seat, from appearing on the Nov. 8 ballot as the Republican candidate could deprive constituents of the chance to vote for or against him, as he has no other legal means to appear on the party’s line.

Yaccarino, of North Haven, filed a lawsuit in Hartford Superior Court last week after receiving a letter from Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill stating that he failed to complete a certificate of endorsement because he didn’t sign it, and thus he wouldn’t appear on the ballot as the Republican nominee.

In his order, Moukawsher characterized Yaccarino’s failure to sign the certificate as an oversight, finding that he would have done so if he was aware of the mistake.

The judge noted that Yaccarino personally inserted his name as the candidate endorsed by Republicans in the 87th District and hand delivered the certificate, which states, in part, that candidates “authorize my name to appear on the ballot as printed below.”

Additionally, Moukawsher pointed out that Merrill’s office proceeded under the assumption that he was the endorsed candidate, no Republicans challenged him in the August primary and he qualified for a public campaign financing grant.

Moukawsher said the timing of Merrill’s letter left Yaccarino with no legal remedy to appear on the ballot as the Republican candidate, and a “balancing of the hardships involved in this case tips to scale” in Yaccarino’s favor.

Lauri Brangi, a North Haven registrar, said if Yaccarino had lost his case he would have appeared on the ballot as an independent. That troubled Yaccarino, who said, “You don’t want to disenfranchise your voters.”

Steve Gifford, Yaccarino’s Democratic opponent, agreed with the decision.

“I’m glad the paperwork mistake wasn’t allowed to counter the desires of a town party,” he said.
Twitter: @reporter_savino

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