On Election Day 2014, Connecticut was among the last states in the nation to learn who its next governor was because of its antiquated voting system. In 2010, the gubernatorial vote tally took three days. So congratulations are in order to the 104 municipalities that successfully participated in a trial run last week of the online vote reporting system hosted by the secretary of the state’s office. Shortly after 8 p.m., election officials in many towns started entering Democratic and Republican primary results in the system, even though participation was voluntary this time around. It offered a good look at how solidly Donald J. Trump was winning the state and at the town-by-town battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
This was a move that was severely overdue. For too long, towns would report results only by fax or by courier (yes, local officials would summon a state trooper to hand-deliver results) and then only to the secretary of the state’s office — and many took a full day to do so. In the state’s smallest towns, residents relied on word of mouth to learn who won.
Thankfully, those days are nearly over for anyone with a computer or a smartphone in Connecticut.
It’s difficult to overstate how important election results are. The ability to cast a ballot is the key to democracy. And now that election officials in most of Connecticut’s towns are showing some facility with the information superhighway, election junkies can look forward to the day when the whole system is automated and registrars’ and moderators’ work is done when the polls close.