Bridgeport Fallout Post-election measures might help to restore confidence
The Hartford Courant
November 16, 2010
No Connecticut city or town would ever run out of ballots if state Rep. Don Clemons' bill becomes law. It would require that municipalities order one ballot for every registered voter and that the state's Clean Election Fund pay the cost.
Bridgeport's running out of ballots in the Nov. 2 election caused problems that delayed for three days an official declaration of the winner of the election for governor.
The one-for-one requirement in the Bridgeport lawmaker's measure is welcome, but there's no reason to relieve cities and towns of the entire cost of ballots.
A state subsidy is in order so that municipalities aren't tempted to scrimp on ballots — maybe the difference between the cost of ballots for an average turnout and the cost for one ballot for every registered voter.
But the Clean Election Fund, which has already been raided by lawmakers and the governor in their quest to balance the budget, should be preserved for its intended use as much as possible. It was designed to provide public financing to candidates for office, not to pay for the full cost of ballots.
Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz's plan to do a hand count of the votes cast in the 12 Bridgeport polling places that ran out of ballots Nov. 2 also could help to restore public confidence in the ballot-counting process.
The Bridgeport recount will be part of the state's regular post-election audit of votes, which usually includes 10 percent of Connecticut's 773 precincts, randomly selected.
The audit results will be reviewed by the University of Connecticut's VoTeR Center — an added layer of oversight.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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