Milford candidate claims anti-GOP bias after zip code mix-up

Photo of Brian Gioiele
Incorrect zip codes were found on absentee ballot application return envelopes mailed to thousands of residents. The zip code on the return envelopes is 06450-9615, which is for the Meriden Post Office.

Incorrect zip codes were found on absentee ballot application return envelopes mailed to thousands of residents. The zip code on the return envelopes is 06450-9615, which is for the Meriden Post Office.

Contributed photo /

MILFORD — A Republican school board candidate is crying election fraud after incorrect zip codes were used on absentee ballot application return envelopes mailed to thousands of residents.

William Legere III, who is running for the Board of Education in District 3, said he now questions the integrity of the Nov. 2 municipal election as return envelopes for absentee ballot applications have been mailed out with an incorrect zip code. The zip code on the return envelopes is 06450-9615, which is for the Meriden Post Office. The zip code to send mail to the City of Milford is 06460.

“I want to know who is responsible for this error and the obvious attack directed toward the local Republican party in Milford,” Legere said, adding that he is speaking for himself, not the Milford Republican Town Committee.

Messages requesting comment from Milford RTC officials were not immediately returned Monday.

Legere said he learned of the error while at an event and questioned why residents were not alerted immediately.

“How much is this error costing Milford taxpayers?” Legere asked. “What’s going to be done to correct the problem, and how much will that cost? What other errors have occurred that point directly to potential fraud regarding the upcoming election biased toward Republicans? How can anyone at this point rely on the results and accuracy of the upcoming election?”

City Clerk & Registrar of Vital Statistics Karen Fortunati said she learned of the error Friday. She said that postal officials in Milford and Meriden, and the vendor, Automated Mailing Services, have been working together to ensure that all return envelopes received at the Meriden Post Office are delivered to the Milford City Clerk’s Office.

The error had resulted in a delay of “a day or two” in applications arriving at their proper destination, Fortunati said.

“Given the high volume of applications that have been delivered thus far, I have no concerns about the integrity of the process,” she said.

Fortunati said she had been sent a proof of the return envelope by Automated Mailing Services before its mailing, and that proof had the correct zip code.

Fortunati also added that the issue is resolved as the vendor is re-sending return envelopes to all voters. In all, the vendor mailed out 39,000 absentee ballot applications. Fortunati said she planned to use grant funds to cover the cost of the mailings but her office is looking into recouping costs from the vendor.

“For those residents who haven’t yet completed their applications, they can use the new envelope,” Fortunati added.”

Kimberly Hallas, Legere’s campaign manager, said this was an attempt to deceive the public.

“We will be making a big push for in-person voting,” Hallas said, “We have no faith in the integrity of the election with this current situation.”

Justin Rosen, Mayor Ben Blake’s chief of staff, said Legere’s political tactics “have no place in Milford.”

Rosen said the election process is overseen jointly, in a bipartisan fashion, by the Republican and Democratic registrars of voters.

“Milford’s elections are open and honest,” Rosen said. “While it’s unfortunate that the mail vendor error occurred, necessary corrective actions were made to ensure every ballot application is received.”

Rosen said Legere’s unsubstantiated complaints “do nothing but promote fear-mongering in an attempt to score cheap political points.”

Fortunati said voters should use their new return envelopes to submit their absentee ballot applications. Those wishing to request an absentee ballot also can drop off their applications in one of three drop boxes located in the city - the Parsons Government Building, City Hall and the Milford Police Department. Residents can also drop off absentee ballots at the clerk’s office.

The city will begin mailing out absentee ballots on Oct. 1.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com