Top election official: Connecticut gets “A-“

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Connecticut’s top election official said she would give the state’s voting process yesterday an “A-” and said that election day here truly “belonged to the people.”

They are still finalizing the numbers in Hartford, but Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says voter turnout in the nutmeg state was more than 75%. She said that’s considered good, although it might not have felt good to the people waiting in long lines to vote on Tuesday.

Secretary Merrill said the long waits were not due to any problems or breakdowns, just sheer volume. Some scanning machines jammed at some polling places, but Secretary Merrill said that, too, was due to the number of ballots they had to process. He office did get a couple thousand calls, but she said that was normal for a busy election day.

This election did not contain any hacking, or poll intimidation, or any of the things we were warned about. Merrill  says, aside from the wait, it was a positive experience for the voters.

“I had the sense that election day was actually a day where people felt good about coming out to vote,” said Merrill. “They were determined to be there, and that’s what you saw.”

Plenty of people were determined to be at the polls, even if they were not registered. This was the first presidential election since Connecticut started Election Day Registration. The Secretary’s office says more than 30,000 people took advantage of that. In addition, the state saw record numbers of people registering the normal way before the election.

Secretary Merrill said she wishes the wait to vote could have been kept to half an hour or so, but the state does not control that. Her office can make recommendations about staffing levels at polling places, but it is up to the individual towns to staff their polling places with enough people to keep the lines moving.

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