Hartford to Investigate Voting Problems, “Restructure” Registrar of Voters

After confusion and delays hampered voting in Hartford, the mayor and city council president are proposing policy changes to prevent a similar snafu from happening again.

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and City Council President Shawn Wooden submitted two resolutions to the City Council on Wednesday.

The first calls for a “committee of inquiry” to investigate yesterday’s polling problems, which affected at least 10 city precincts and prompted extended voting hours at two of them.

The second resolution calls on the city’s Operations, Management, Budget and Legislative Committee to “restructure the office of the Hartford Registrar of Voters,” which now comprises a Democrat, Republican and member of the Working Families Party.

“Given the scale of the problems on Election Day yesterday, there is no excuse not to move ahead with what we tried to do in the past which is to restructure the Registrar of Voters,” Segarra said in a statement Wednesday. “It is unacceptable that in 2014, residents cannot cast their ballots in time and that on the day after an election numbers are still not being reported. Council and I will work in concert to make sure we get to the bottom of what happened and prevent this from ever happening again.”

The Hartford City Council will take a look at the resolutions during Monday's meeting. A public meeting will also take place in the coming weeks. Segarra's office said lawmakers will review the proposed changes and discuss state law will need to be altered.

Hartford lawmakers aren't the only ones taking a hard look at yesterday's blunder. Newly re-elected Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced her intent to file a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission on Tuesday night.

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