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Typo leads to election of wrong candidate

You wouldn't think a one-letter typo would make a huge difference, but in an election it apparently does.

In Derby, James J. Butler received 1,526 votes in the race for the Board of Apportionment and Taxation Nov. 8. In fact, he got more votes than anyone else running for election to the 10-member board.

The problem? James J. Butler wasn't running, but his father, James R. Butler, who campaigned for the position. But because of a typo on the ballot, it's the younger Butler who was officially elected to the office.

The Democratic Town Committee nominated James R. Butler, and its members are now trying to figure out what to do, with the Dec. 3 swearing-in ceremony quickly approaching.

"I was the one they nominated. My son wants nothing to do with this," James R. Butler told the Connecticut Post Tuesday. The older Butler noticed the error on the ballot when he voted, the paper reported.

To add to the confusion, both father and son live on Prindle Avenue, and both share the same birthday.

A spokesperson for the Secretary of State's Office, which oversees elections in Connecticut, said no one in the office has ever heard of an error like this ever happening. But Av Harris said the voters elected James J. Butler, and it will be up to the Democratic Town Committee to sort out the problem.

The town has a couple of options, including swearing in James J. Butler, then having him resign, and Democrats could appoint his father to replace him. The other would be to not swear in anyone, and allow the position to remain vacant.

The Democratic Town Committee executive committee will meet Friday to figure out what to do, according to the Connecticut Post.