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Compromise Election Overhaul Bill Clears Connecticut Panel

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A compromise aimed at professionalizing Connecticut's election system after recent mishaps is moving through the legislative process. Despite initial proposals from the secretary of state, the revamped bill would retain the current system of 339 locally elected, partisan registrars of voters.The registrars must meet certain training requirements under the proposed legislation which also includes a process for investigating and possibly removing deficient registrars.

The bill enables the Secretary of the State to temporarily remove a registrar for failing to obtain the newly required certification. Seeking to resolve issues like polls opening late, Secretary of State Denise Merrill had proposed a system of one registrar running a community’s elections.

“At this point, because they’re both elected, there’s no one that can resolve those issues because they’re not directly responsible to the town management and they’re not directly responsible to my office.”

The state’s registrars association had opposed that idea. The Government Administration and Elections Committee sent the bill to the Senate.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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