By Russell Berman - 11/02/10 10:36 PM EDT
Democrats have filed their first legal challenges before polls even closed on Election Day, asking for an extension of voting hours in Connecticut and questioning the denial of provisional ballots in Illinois.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCCC), told reporters at party headquarters that officials had gone to court in two states. In Connecticut, the party has asked for a one-hour extension of voting in Bridgeport, a Democratic stronghold where turnout was reported so high that officials ran out of ballots, Menendez said.
In Illinois, Menendez said Democrats had filed a Freedom of Information Act request for provisional ballots after learning voters who had not filled out the absentee ballot requests they submitted were denied provisional ballots in violation of election law.
“In certain counties, those individuals have been stopped from voting, and we want that to be clear that they’re allowed to vote and we want their votes to count,” Menendez said.
Illinois has one of the closest Senate races in the country, with Democrat Alexi Giannoulias facing Republican Rep. Mark Kirk.
Menendez said Democrats had “a great legal team.” While he voiced hope that most races would not require recounts, he said, “We may not fully know tonight” the results in every state.