The Chatham Party will see all 16 of its candidates back on the ballot for the November election thanks to a ruling last week by a Middletown Superior Court judge.
Judge Edward Domnarski ruled last week that the East Hampton third party, which currently holds the majority on the town council, should be reinstated on the November ballot after a decision by the town clerk disqualified them from appearing on the ballot.
Last month the party’s 16 candidates—including the four incumbent town council members—were ruled ineligible to appear on the ballot thanks to a 2011 change to the state’s election law requiring minor party candidates to individually sign certificates of endorsement filed with town clerks. The ruling affected minor parties in six towns around the state.
That requirement was communicated to town clerks in July 2011; Town Clerk Sandra Wieleba said that she and other town clerks had overlooked the issue during the 2011 municipal elections. It was brought to light most recently because a CT Tea Party candidate in Bethel was disqualified from the ballot.
Republican and Democratic candidates follow no such rule.
Wieleba initially received an opinion from the Secretary of State’s office indicating that the paperwork was incomplete, so the Chatham Party candidates were not eligible for the ballot.