- Associated Press - Monday, November 8, 2010

HARTFORD, Conn. | Tom Foley, the Republican candidate for Connecticut governor, conceded to Democrat Dan Malloy on Monday despite calls by the state GOP for an investigation into the voting process in the state’s largest city.

The concession means that the race in Minnesota, where Democrat Mark Dayton clings to a slim unofficial lead over Republican Tom Emmer, is the only result still undecided from the 37 gubernatorial contests on the Nov. 2 ballot. Mr. Malloy, a former mayor of Stamford, becomes the state’s first Democratic governor in 24 years.

Mr. Foley, a Greenwich businessman and former U.S. ambassador to Ireland, said although photocopied ballots that were used in Bridgeport and six other municipalities amid a ballot shortage were unusual, they represented the good-faith efforts of people to cast their votes.

“The election on Tuesday, although very close, was a conclusive victory for Dan Malloy,” Mr. Foley said. “I’m done with this governor’s race for sure.”

According to numbers posted Monday on the website of Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, Mr. Malloy was leading Mr. Foley by 5,810 votes - a figure that has fluctuated since Friday, when Bridgeport election officials finally submitted their results. They had been waylaid by the ballot shortage and round-the-clock tallying.

Mr. Foley’s campaign, with the help of the Republican Governors Association, reviewed the election results over the weekend. The Republican spent a reported $11 million of his own money on the campaign.

Teams combed through election results from all 169 towns and found no evidence of fraud.

State Republicans, though, continued with plans to seek a probe into the sometimes chaotic election.

Based on its preliminary inquiry, the state party hired an attorney, Ross Garber, and sent letters to the U.S. attorney in Connecticut and the chief state’s attorney seeking an investigation into the voting process in Bridgeport.

The party claims it has uncovered evidence that the process was plagued by “significant deficiencies, irregularities and improprieties, most notably in connection with the creation and distribution of ballots: the counting of votes; and the tabulation of election results,” according to the letter.

Bridgeport’s voter registrars acknowledged that they ordered just 21,000 ballots for the election despite a recommendation from the secretary of the state’s office that they purchase at least one ballot for each of the city’s registered voters. The city has more than 69,000 registered voters.

The shortage led to delays at polling places, the use of photocopies as provisional ballots and eventually a court order that kept about half of the city precincts open two hours past the scheduled closing time.

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