Superior Court Judge Julia Auriemma ruled to reinstate Middletown Realistic Balance Party candidates Stephen Devoto and Steven Smith to the ballot on Monday, October 21, two weeks before Election Day. Devoto and Smith, candidates for Middletown's Planning and Zoning Commission, had been removed from the ballot by Middletown Town Clerk Linda Bettencourt in September for failing to comply with an election law unfamiliar to several municipalities around Connecticut.
In 2010, the legislature enacted Connecticut General Statute 9-452, which requires each minor party candidate to sign a certificate of endorsement proving they want to run, a change that applies only to minority party candidates in local elections. While the change was intended to prevent candidates from being placed on the ballot against their will, this year, the law kept several candidates off the ballot.
Beginning in September, town clerks in nine Connecticut towns received complaints from their minor party candidates claiming they were never told about the change when they submitted their paperwork. Yet town clerks, on the advice of the office of the Secretary of the State, didn't have the authority to override the rule, sending many of these towns to court to resolve the issue.
Earlier this month, judges ruled in favor of minor party candidates in Westport, Easton, and East Hampton, while Windham, Bethel, Ridgefield, Fairfield, and Simsbury reinstated their minor party candidates without court intervention.
On October 21, Judge Julia Auriemma ruled to reinstate Realistic Balance Party candidates Devoto and Smith, just two weeks before Election Day. Listen to the October 7 Colin McEnroe Show featuring candidates from East Hampton's Chatham Party, Middletown's Realistic Balance Party, and Westport's Save Westport Now here.