October 1, 2012
RESOLVING A TIE VOTE IN A PRIMARY
By: Kristin Sullivan, Principal Analyst
You asked for a summary of the procedure for resolving a tie vote in a primary between candidates for statewide or legislative office.
By law, if two or more candidates for statewide office (i.e., constitutional officers) or legislative office tie in a primary, any such candidates or the state chair of the applicable political party may apply to the secretary of the state for a recanvass. If no application is made or the recanvass results in a tie, the primary stands adjourned. An adjourned primary between all candidates who ran for the office in which the tie occurred is held three weeks later. If the adjourned primary results in a tie, the secretary of the state must choose the nominee by drawing lots. Afterwards, the secretary must certify the dissolution of the tie and the winning candidate (CGS § 9-446).
ADJOURNED PRIMARY PROCEDURE
The adjourned primary must be conducted in the same manner, and begin at the same hour, as the first primary. Similarly, the ballots must be in the same format as the original ballots, listing each candidate's name (even though only candidates running for the office in which the tie occurred may receive votes).
The town clerk of any municipality in which the adjourned primary will occur must provide the secretary of the state with an accurate list of the names of candidates to be voted on. The town clerk must also publish notice of the adjourned primary at least three days beforehand, providing its day, hours, place, and purpose, in a general circulation newspaper serving the municipality. The registrars of voters must provide the ballots.
The adjourned primary is not held if all but one of the candidates die, withdraw, or become disqualified to hold office. In that case, the remaining candidate becomes the party's lawful nominee and the secretary of the state immediately notifies the registrars of voters in any municipality where the adjourned primary would have occurred that it is unnecessary. A candidate who withdraws must file a signed letter with the secretary for the withdrawal to be valid.