Voters given wrong ballots in Naugatuck

2012 ballot

NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WTNH)– Voters in Naugatuck say they were given the wrong ballots, now they have questions about how this could happen during such a tight race where every vote needs to count.

“What do you think about the names that you see on here?” we asked Michelle Moran, one of three voters who got ballots from two years ago.

“Well, I noticed right away Linda McMahon and then a lot of these people I didn’t even know and I knew they weren’t running,” said Moran. “But, I knew it was the wrong one and it said 2012.”

Moran and another astounded voter were first in line, getting to the voting precinct before 6 a.m. They were shocked that the ballots they were given were not for today’s election.

Kris Kuczennski, a moderator, was feeling the heat from voters who questioned the ballot.

“Why was I giving him a presidential ballot to vote when it’s a governor’s election,” said Kuczennski.

Names like presidential candidates Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan, and even President Obama were on the ballot.

But how could something like this happen? Kuczennski says it was a simple mistake.

“Not realizing when I opened up the box there were ballots there I just automatically took them out because that’s where we normally store them,” said Kuczennski. “A wrong box had been brought up to me and they were ballots back to the presidential election,”

She says the box of old ballots was brought up from the basement by a janitor, and that she didn’t realize the mistake at first. She says three of the wrong ballots had been given out.

However, when it was crystal clear what had happened, Moran says a frantic search for the right ballots ensued.

“They were calling up everybody to try to get the right paperwork, nobody checked the files,” said Moran.

Tuesday we went to the Registrar of Voters office in Naugatuck to track down the old ballots and see them first hand. At the office they assured us that ballots are barcoded and say the voting booths would have rejected them. But, the error still leaves voters wondering if this colossal mistake could happen, what else could be happening to your vote?

Kuczennski says she has been a moderator for 35 years and this has never happened before, and she’s going to make sure it never happens again.

“Maybe instead of coming in at quarter after five like we come in, maybe we all better come in at 5 o’clock and go to the boxes first and check the boxes out,” said Kuczennski.

As voters pile into voting precincts, hoping to make a difference with their vote, now some say they have to hope they system will allow for that, and truly make every vote count.

Michelle Moran says voting staff crossed her name off of the list as if she had voted. She adds she has to come back after work to try to vote again since the correct ballots weren’t there when she tried earlier. She is afraid that people at the voting precinct will think she has already voted and won’t count her vote tonight.

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