New Haven Set To Repeat 2014 Disaster

! W A R N I N G !

Do not wait till the last minute.  Do not wait to the last hour.  Get there early if you want to use Election Day Registration!

We have been saying this for years.  Election Day Registration is heading for a Civil Rights Violation. The reason is the Secretary of the State’s procedures which say officials must have your registration complete by 8:00pm or you will be turned away.

It happened in 2014 in New Haven, 100 were turned away.  But nobody sued.  It looks like it is going to happen again, unless somebody takes bold action.  Even then it can happen.  If they are moderately busy and a bunch of people arrive close to 8:00pm, some will be turned away.

NOTE: This is also a tale of how elections work in a state with a Secretary of the State with limited powers over underpaid, and occasionally resistant/obstinate local registrars.  (The same registrars who are often cited by state officials as the reason we will have no problems in our elections this year.  Read here how they handle their joint responsibility.)

Here is the story from the New Haven Register Election Fiasco Repeat Looms  <read>

The Secretary of the State’s office rushed down to New Haven to try to prevent a repeat Election Day disaster involving last-minute registration.

An election staffer from the office huddled with the city’s Democratic and Republican registrars Thursday to try to bring them up to speed on how to conduct Election Day Registration (EDR).

The secretary of the state’s office is concerned for three reasons, according to spokesman Patrick Gallahue:

• New Haven’s registrars, unlike the majority of other registrars in the state, failed to participate in three EDR training sessions.

• The office appeared not to have enough ballots in place and staffers ready to handle the expected crush of people seeking to vote.

• This is the first presidential election in which Connecticut will have EDR, and big crowds of last-mintue voters are anticipated in college communities.
Compounding fears is the fact that New Haven failed in handling EDR in 2014, the year it took effect in Connecticut.

We testified this year to the General Elections and Administrations Committee. They seemed to understand what we were saying, yet did nothing (at least they did not go along with the Registrars request and cut-off EDR at 7:00pm)  <testimony>

Here is the first time, we predicted this, long before the debacle in New Haven, back in May 2012 <read> and two months earlier in testimony <read>

I recommend against this proposal for Election Day Registration. It lacks sufficient detail to protect the rights of EDR voters, the rights of all voters, and the integrity of elections. The structure that is proposed, by its nature portends chaos in future critical and high interest elections…

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