A newly crafted compromise aimed at professionalizing Connecticut’s election system after a spate of polling mishaps cleared a legislative hurdle Monday. While the revamped bill would still retain the current system of 339 locally elected, partisan registrars of voters, it now requires a new certification program for registrars and a process for investigating and possibly removing those who behave negligently. The proposed legislation also enables the Secretary of the State to temporarily remove a registrar for failing to obtain the newly required certification.
“I have said from the beginning that we need more professionalism and accountability in how we run elections in Connecticut, and this bill accomplishes that,” said Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.
The bill passed the Government Administration and Elections Committee on a 13-2 vote and now awaits action in the Senate.
Crafted with input from Merrill’s office and the Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut, the legislation stems from problems in recent elections, including last November’s gubernatorial election. Several Hartford polling places opened late Nov. 4, prompting a judge to order extended voting hours and President Barack Obama to call WNPR-FM, urging people to return to the polls later in the day.