Connecticut Undertakes Reform After Election Day Problems

After a troubled 2014 midterm election in Hartford, Connecticut, calls to change how and by whom elections are run in the state are growing. 

On Nov. 4 in the state capital, several polling places did not open on time due to late delivery of voter lists, which delayed would-be voters from casting their ballots for more than 90 minutes. One of those voters was Secretary of State Denise Merrill (D), who called for an immediate investigation by the state Elections Enforcement Commission and is among those suggesting reforms. 

The proposals under consideration include:

  • Requiring the state’s 169 registrars, who manage elections at the local level, to attend training before each election. Training is currently voluntary, and state officials reported that the Hartford registrars did not attend this year’s session.
  • Transferring the day-to-day responsibilities for election administration from registrars to town or city clerks.
  • Establishing a certification process for registrars similar to that of town clerks.

Connecticut officials from both sides of the aisle have expressed support for reform. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) suggested similar reforms, and incoming state Senate Minority Leader Leonard Fasano (R) said that he has serious concerns about the election process and that a better system is necessary.

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