Turnout Looking Steady As Results To Be Reported in New Way on Election Night

Across Connecticut, poll workers reported to the Secretary of the State that turnout had been, "steady."

The town of South Windsor reported turnout approaching 42 percent by midday, while some poll workers in Bridgeport had said they had seen far fewer voters on Tuesday.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said the highest turnout recorded for a presidential primary was back in 2008 when then-Senator Barack Obama upset former Senator Hillary Clinton in her first run for president. That year, 51 percent of Connecticut voters turned out to participate in the process. Merrill said this year, 40 percent could be an achievable figure.

One new element to voting this year is a technology upgrade for registrars of voters across Connecticut is an online election management system.

Taxpayers foot the bill for the $400,000 system designed for election officials to input results through a central portal that then appears on the Secretary of the State's website.

"It is a field test" said Merrill. "People may think they have their hands full doing other things. We very strongly encouraged them to use it and I think it is pretty easy to use, so you know, by November, everyone is going to be using it.”

The system is meant to provide faster unofficial results. Connecticut is known for having among the slowest election reporting in the country as a result of having more than 300 election officials in 169 cities and towns that each have their own election offices.

During the 2014 race for governor, party officials had results long before the public and in the morning several towns had not yet reported unofficial results.

One town not participating with the new software is Naugatuck. Both the Republican and Democrat Registrars of Voters decided to not use the software in the presidential primary and wait instead until later in the summer or even the fall.

"Our town has decided not to do this. We’re still going to fax the results in but we will be ready to go for possibly the August primary and definitely November" said Matt Katera, the Republican Registrar in Naugatuck.

Katera said the town has had its hands full and that reporting results won't be an issue.

"It’s not real time as has been reported" Katera cautioned. "It might speed things up by ten or 15 minutes. We’ll still have our results in by 9, 9:30 p.m.”

Other registrars are excited about the new software.

Linda Cuntrera, the Republican Registrar in Newington, says the new program will be better for voters because they'll find out results faster than ever.

“You’re going to get the results so quickly and it’s going to right to the secretary of the state and as you get a district done you can just put it in and the secretary of state will get it and it will be right there online.”

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