Gov. Dannel Malloy has asked a judge grant an emergency injunction that would give voters an extra hour to cast ballots at Hartford’s polling places after the governor’s campaign said an early-morning snafu “discouraged” people from voting. A judge will hear arguments from both Democrats and Republicans, who are expected to oppose the extended polling times, at a 2:30 p.m. hearing in Hartford Superior Court. The complaint was filed by attorneys William Bloss, of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, and James Wade, of Robinson & Cole on behalf of Malloy, who is running against Republican Tom Foley in a rematch of their hotly contested election in 2010. The request for extended voting hours echoes a controversial request made four years ago, when Democrats persuaded a judge to keep Bridgeport polls open late after city voting officials ran out of ballots. On Tuesday, Malloy’s campaign filed a complaint in Hartford Superior Court just after noon. Malloy has asked a judge to intervene after he says at least a dozen of the city’s polling places didn’t open at 6 a.m. as required by state law. At nine of those locations, voters were forced to wait for up to 90 minutes “with no certainty as to when the polls would be able to be opened,” according to the complaint because voter registrations lists were not ready when polls opened.
The complaint blamed the delay “in whole or in substantial part” on “the failure of one or more local officials to provided lists of voters to the polling places.” Some voters waited; others left without casting their ballots. The complaint says moderators were supposed to have voter checklists and other supplies ready by Monday, Nov. 3, at 8 p.m. at the latest. “Voter turnout was further suppressed when word spread by means of social media and other media that multiple polling places were not open or were not allow people to vote,” the complaint says. “A substantial number of people who wished to voter were discouraged from voting by lengthy lines at those polling places,” according to the complaint.