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Hartford’s election day debacle detailed in report

(Hugh McQuaid file photo)
(Hugh McQuaid file photo)

HARTFORD, Conn. – Errors and omissions by Hartford election officials, dysfunctional relationships, a lack of leadership, and the absence of a chain of command contributed to the city of Hartford’s Election Day problems, according to a new report.

The Committee of Inquiry report released Friday details what happened on Election Day when at least six polling places opened up at 6 a.m. without any voter lists. In some cases, voters were reportedly turned away from the polls while others signed affidavits to verify their identities in order to vote without being checked off the voter list.

The committee interviewed a dozen witnesses, including Olga Vazquez, Shelia Hall, and Urania Petit, the three Registrar of Voters in Hartford, and poured over more than 10,000 documents to complete the report.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.

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One response to “Hartford’s election day debacle detailed in report”

  1. Stuart Wells

    A few statistics from the election night reports:
    Registered Voters as of Election Day:
    Hartford: 48,694
    Norwalk: 44,394
    Number of votes cast in 2014 election:
    Hartford: 15,175
    Norwalk: 22,242
    Number of Absentee ballots:
    Hartford: 1,216
    Norwalk: 952
    Number of polling places:
    Hartford: 24
    Norwalk: 12
    First comment: There is a well recognized and long-standing procedure for how to handle absentee ballots.
    The names of voters who have cast absentee ballots are marked in the official checklists so that they can’t show up on Election Day and vote a second time. These checklists are printed about a week before the election. We start marking the absentee votes on these lists on the Thursday before the election, so that on Monday we only have to mark the relative few of them which arrive at the Town Clerk’s office on that Monday.
    Some additional absentee ballots arrive on Election Day. The procedure is “clear” each of these late-arriving absentee ballots by calling the polling place to make sure that the voter has not also voted in person. After the ballot is cleared, it is put in with the others to be counted.
    The Hartford Registrars could have sent the checklists to the polls on time with however many absentee voters marked as had been completed at that time, and cleared the rest by phone on Election Day. The polls are open for 14 hours, so there is plenty of time to clear absentee ballots by phone.

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