HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Tomorrow’s Primary will be the first election in Hartford since voters were forced to wait last November because several polling places in the city opened late.
Voter lists weren’t ready at nearly half of Hartford’s 24 voting districts and later in the day, a judge ordered several of them to stay open late. A big investigation followed. So, the big question is; will things be ready at 6 a.m. tomorrow for the city’s most competitive primary in years?
There are Primary elections in 23 cities and towns, but only Hartford’s Registrar of Voters has been under the supervision of a monitor from the Secretary of the State.
Even more than the candidates, Hartford Democratic Registrar of Voters Olga Vasquez is under a lot of pressure. She declined an interview today, citing a tight schedule of training sessions for poll workers. A spokesperson for Vasquez says that all polling places will be fully staffed and ready at 6 a.m. and that all voting lists will be ready.
Mayor Segarra spent much of the day campaigning with members of his slate at the many Bodegas around the city. Luke Bronin also had a full schedule of stops but admitted he has to hope for the best as far as the Registrar is concerned.
“I’m not in any position to have confidence or not have confidence, I hope that the experience of last time makes everyone focused on insuring that there are no problems this time,” said Bronin.
Since last month, a special monitor from the Secretary of the State’s office has been overseeing the Registrar’s office. Mayor Segarra says he’s hopeful, but also admits that the Registrars are separate from his office and operate independently.
“We’ve been working along with the monitor with the Registrar’s office and with the Clerk’s office to try to deal with any of their needs or requests for additional funding,” said Segarra.
The City Council tried to remove Vasquez from office, but she prevailed in court, but she will be out next year at the end of her current term. The city is changing the charter and will no longer have elected Registrars and will have two appointed Registrars in the future.