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Compromise Connecticut Election Reform Bill Clears Senate

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The Connecticut Senate has unanimously passed a wide-ranging bill that attempts to professionalize the state's election system following a string of problems at the polls. The legislation awaits House action.The bill marks a compromise between state lawmakers, the Secretary of State's Office, town clerks and the locally-elected registrars of voters, who run the state's elections.

Under the proposal, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill would create a new training and certification program for the 339 registrars.

“My job is to represent the voters,” Merrill said when proposing changes in February. “And I am concerned that they’re not getting the best election process. We’ve seen too many instances where it’s just not working that well anymore.”

If the Secretary believes a registrar has engaged in misconduct or is incompetent, there is a process in the bill to remove that person from office.

Melissa Russell, president of the registrars' association, says the bill provides much-needed technology and the ability to provide results faster.

Information for 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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