See a problem, propose a solution you want that might make the problem worse

There were long lines for Election Day Registration (EDR) and it took a whole 10 hours to count enough votes to determine the Governor in Connecticut. Our EDR is a problem, but waiting ten hours for result is just a concern hyped up by a overly impatient press and used as a opportunity by advocates to promote early voting as a solution.

An example is this article in the CTPost: Changes to Connecticut’s voting laws could streamline elections<read>

It took nearly 10 hours after the polls closed for Connecticut voters to learn who won the hard-fought race for governor, and by the time Ned Lamont was named the next governor, voters were beginning a new day.

It’s not the first time election results have been delayed — Connecticut’s cities have developed a reputation for holding up the process — but with a broader majority in the state Legislature, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill hopes changes in the state’s voting laws could be on the horizon.

Merrill plans to again propose a change to allow early voting, as well as create no-excuses absentee voting. She also plans to propose automatic registration for 16-year-olds, who could be registered when they visit the state Department of Motor Vehicles for their learners permits.

“There’s more optimism for passing early voting,” said Gabe Rosenberg, a spokesman for Merrill’s office. “I think that there’s a real hunger for early voting. So many people want to vote early, especially when they see how many people in other states do it.”

Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia allow early voting in person, which cuts down lines on Election Day, especially in highly populated cities, and helps results come in faster. A record 36 million people across the nation voted ahead of Election Day.

That last statement is blatantly untrue. As of this time the states of California, Colorado, Florida, and Georgia are still counting votes. They all have mail-in early voting.  California has a Friday deadline to receive mail-in ballots postmarked by election day and counts them for weeks after election day.  As of Friday all those other states were still counting.

It seems that whenever there is an apparent problem, the Connecticut response is to claim that the cure is whatever you have been proposing all along. There real are problems and there are reasonable solutions:

EDR is a problem caused by a too restrictive process unique to Connecticut.  And by the Secretary of the State unilaterally declaring that persons in line at 8:00pm for EDR have no right to an opportunity to register and vote. <see our coverage and opinions>

Yes, New Haven and many towns in Connecticut should spend more on staffing polling places and EDR for these large elections.

However, New Haven should be applauded for taking the necessary time to count votes by hand that could not be counted by machine. Perhaps they should even have given their pollworkers more time to rest and resume counting, extending the time to get accurate results to maybe 24 hours.

Compare New Haven 2018 to Bridgeport in 2010 where, under pressure, they rushed hand counting and missed many votes in a somewhat comparable emergency. Those votes were counted by the CTPost and the Citizen Audit – yet were never counted or recognized by the Official system. <read>


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