CHAPTER 149
ELECTIONS AND PRIMARIES: CONTESTED

Table of Contents

Sec. 9-323. Contests and complaints in election of presidential electors, U.S. senator and representative.
Sec. 9-324. Contests and complaints in election of state officers and judges of probate.

      Sec. 9-323. Contests and complaints in election of presidential electors, U.S. senator and representative. Any elector or candidate who claims that he is aggrieved by any ruling of any election official in connection with any election for presidential electors and for a senator in Congress and for representative in Congress or any of them, held in his town, or that there was a mistake in the count of the votes cast at such election for candidates for such electors, senator in Congress and representative in Congress, or any of them, at any voting district in his town, or any candidate for such an office who claims that he is aggrieved by a violation of any provision of section 9-355, 9-357 to 9-361, inclusive, 9-364, 9-364a or 9-365 in the casting of absentee ballots at such election, may bring his complaint to any judge of the Supreme Court, in which he shall set out the claimed errors of such election official, the claimed errors in the count or the claimed violations of said sections. In any action brought pursuant to the provisions of this section, the complainant shall send a copy of the complaint by first-class mail, or deliver a copy of the complaint by hand, to the State Elections Enforcement Commission. If such complaint is made prior to such election, such judge shall proceed expeditiously to render judgment on the complaint and shall cause notice of the hearing to be given to the Secretary of the State and the State Elections Enforcement Commission. If such complaint is made subsequent to the election, it shall be brought within fourteen days of the election and such judge shall forthwith order a hearing to be had upon such complaint, upon a day not more than five or less than three days from the making of such order, and shall cause notice of not less than three or more than five days to be given to any candidate or candidates whose election may be affected by the decision upon such hearing, to such election official, to the Secretary of the State, to the State Elections Enforcement Commission and to any other party or parties whom such judge deems proper parties thereto, of the time and place for the hearing upon such complaint. Such judge, with two other judges of the Supreme Court to be designated by the Chief Court Administrator, shall, on the day fixed for such hearing and without unnecessary delay, proceed to hear the parties. If sufficient reason is shown, such judges may order any voting machines to be unlocked or any ballot boxes to be opened and a recount of the votes cast, including absentee ballots, to be made. Such judges shall thereupon, in the case they, or any two of them, find any error in the rulings of the election official, any mistake in the count of such votes or any violation of said sections, certify the result of their finding or decision, or the finding or decision of a majority of them, to the Secretary of the State before the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. Such judges may order a new election or a change in the existing election schedule, provided such order complies with Section 302 of the Help America Vote Act, P.L. 107-252, as amended from time to time. Such certificate of such judges, or a majority of them, shall be final upon all questions relating to the rulings of such election officials, to the correctness of such count and, for the purposes of this section only, such claimed violations, and shall operate to correct the returns of the moderators or presiding officers so as to conform to such finding or decision.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1107; 1953, S. 801d; 1963, P.A. 307; P.A. 78-125, S. 6; P.A. 83-583, S. 2, 6; P.A. 84-511, S. 4, 15; P.A. 87-545, S. 1; P.A. 88-364, S. 14, 123; P.A. 95-88, S. 4; P.A. 04-74, S. 1; P.A. 05-288, S. 47.)

      History: 1963 act added provisions re defeated candidate in first sentence, increased time within which a complaint may be brought from three to ten days after election, clarified the counting of absentee ballots and changed the date by which certification must be made; P.A. 78-125 added candidate as claimant to aggrievement, deleted "the moderator of any election" following "ruling of" and substituted "any election official in connection with any election", deleted provisions pertaining to defeated candidates, provided for judge to proceed expeditiously on complaint when made prior to election, provided for notice of hearing to election official, changed authority to assign judges to hear case to the chief court administrator, provided that judges may order a new election or a change in the existing election schedule and deleted provision for substitution in case judge unable to serve; P.A. 83-583 required a complainant to send or deliver a copy of the complaint to the state elections commission and required a judge to give notice of a hearing to the secretary of the state and the state elections commission; P.A. 84-511 changed name of elections commission to elections enforcement commission; P.A. 87-545 allowed candidate to bring complaint under this section if he claims that he is aggrieved by violation of any provision of Secs. 9-355, 9-357 to 9-361, inclusive, 9-364, 9-364a or 9-365 in casting of absentee ballots; P.A. 88-364 made technical change; P.A. 95-88 changed time within which a complaint shall be brought from ten to fourteen days; P.A. 04-74 qualified judges' authority to order a new election or a change in existing election schedule by adding ", provided such order complies with Section 302 of the Help America Vote Act, P.L. 107-252, as amended from time to time", effective May 10, 2004; P.A. 05-288 made technical changes, effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 9-324. Contests and complaints in election of state officers and judges of probate. Any elector or candidate who claims that such elector or candidate is aggrieved by any ruling of any election official in connection with any election for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, State Comptroller or judge of probate, held in such elector's or candidate's town, or that there has been a mistake in the count of the votes cast at such election for candidates for said offices or any of them, at any voting district in such elector's or candidate's town, or any candidate for such an office who claims that such candidate is aggrieved by a violation of any provision of section 9-355, 9-357 to 9-361, inclusive, 9-364, 9-364a or 9-365 in the casting of absentee ballots at such election or any candidate for the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the State, State Treasurer, Attorney General or State Comptroller, who claims that such candidate is aggrieved by a violation of any provision of sections 9-700 to 9-716, inclusive, may bring such elector's or candidate's complaint to any judge of the Superior Court, in which such elector or candidate shall set out the claimed errors of such election official, the claimed errors in the count or the claimed violations of said sections. In any action brought pursuant to the provisions of this section, the complainant shall send a copy of the complaint by first-class mail, or deliver a copy of the complaint by hand, to the State Elections Enforcement Commission. If such complaint is made prior to such election, such judge shall proceed expeditiously to render judgment on the complaint and shall cause notice of the hearing to be given to the Secretary of the State and the State Elections Enforcement Commission. If such complaint is made subsequent to the election, it shall be brought not later than fourteen days after the election and such judge shall forthwith order a hearing to be had upon such complaint, upon a day not more than five nor less than three days from the making of such order, and shall cause notice of not less than three nor more than five days to be given to any candidate or candidates whose election may be affected by the decision upon such hearing, to such election official, the Secretary of the State, the State Elections Enforcement Commission and to any other party or parties whom such judge deems proper parties thereto, of the time and place for the hearing upon such complaint. Such judge shall, on the day fixed for such hearing and without unnecessary delay, proceed to hear the parties. If sufficient reason is shown, such judge may order any voting machines to be unlocked or any ballot boxes to be opened and a recount of the votes cast, including absentee ballots, to be made. Such judge shall thereupon, in case such judge finds any error in the rulings of the election official, any mistake in the count of the votes or any violation of said sections, certify the result of such judge's finding or decision to the Secretary of the State before the fifteenth day of the next succeeding December. Such judge may order a new election or a change in the existing election schedule. Such certificate of such judge of such judge's finding or decision shall be final and conclusive upon all questions relating to errors in the rulings of such election officials, to the correctness of such count, and, for the purposes of this section only, such claimed violations, and shall operate to correct the returns of the moderators or presiding officers, so as to conform to such finding or decision, unless the same is appealed from as provided in section 9-325.

      (1949 Rev., S. 1105; 1953, S. 802d; 1963, P.A. 363; P.A. 78-125, S. 7; P.A. 83-583, S. 3, 6; P.A. 84-511, S. 5, 15; P.A. 87-545, S. 2; P.A. 95-88, S. 5; P.A. 00-99, S. 32, 154; Oct. 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-5, S. 43.)

      History: 1963 act added provisions re defeated candidate in first sentence, increased time within which complaint may be brought from three to ten days after election, clarified counting of absentee ballots and changed date by which certification of decision must be made; P.A. 78-125 changed application to "any elector or candidate who claims that he is aggrieved by any ruling of an election official in connection with any election", added sheriff and judge of probate to the enumerated offices, deleted provisions pertaining to defeated candidates, provided for expeditious handling of complaints made prior to election, provided for notice to "such election official", provided that judge may order a new election or a change in the existing election schedule and deleted provision for substitution in case judge unable to serve; P.A. 83-583 required a complainant to send or deliver a copy of the complaint to the state elections commission and required a judge to give notice of a hearing to the secretary of the state and the state elections commission; P.A. 84-511 changed name of elections commission to elections enforcement commission; P.A. 87-545 allowed candidate to bring complaint under this section if he claims that he is aggrieved by violation of any provision of Secs. 9-355, 9-357 to 9-361, inclusive, 9-364, 9-364a or 9-365 in casting of absentee ballots; P.A. 95-88 changed time within which a complaint shall be brought from ten to fourteen days; P.A. 00-99 deleted reference to sheriff, effective December 1, 2000; Oct. 25 Sp. Sess. P.A. 05-5 authorized complaint by candidate for state office who claims aggrievement by violation of provision of Secs. 9-700 to 9-716, inclusive, and made technical changes, effective December 31, 2006, and applicable to elections held on or after that date.

      See Sec. 9-717 re effect of court of competent jurisdiction's prohibiting or limiting the expenditure of funds from the Citizens' Election Fund established in Sec. 9-701.

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