Hartford Election Monitor Established After Problems at Polls

The secretary of the state has established an election monitor for the city of Hartford after problems at the polls in November prompted officials to try removing the three registrars of voters from office.

Christine Horrigan, an attorney and longtime leader of the Connecticut League of Women Voters, will serve as the captial city's new election monitor, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced Friday.

Horrigan will have an office in Hartford City Hall. She has the authority to inspect and investigate the conduct of election officials, access all records and data available to city election officials and report irregularities.

She is also tasked with overseeing preparations for primaries and general elections in the city of Hartford, getting ballots ready and training election officials and poll workers.

Horrigan will oversee communications among election officials, make sure election officials meet all state deadlines and help "devise and implement a management plan for the successful execution of elections in Hartford that complies with state and federal election laws," Merrill's office said.

It comes in response to a slew of problems during the November 2014 general election, which led to extended hours at several of the city's polling places. The Hartford City Council tried to remove the city's three registrars of voters, but a judge ruled the council lacked the authority to do so.

One of the three resigned in April.

"I am excited to have this opportunity to work closely with the office of the Secretary of the State, the registrars and City Hall to ensure that elections in Hartford are well managed and that all voters have the chance to cast their ballots in a fair, timely and efficient manner," Horrigan said in a statement Friday.

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