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Absentee Ballot Fraud in 2005, Working For The Registrar in 2009

By Jeffrey B. Cohen

October 26, 2009

A woman fined $10,000 by state election officials four years ago for absentee ballot fraud has obtained a one-week, pre-election temporary job in the office of the city registrars.

State officials said in 2005 that Prenzina Holloway, a veteran of the city's Democratic party, voted on behalf of, and forged the signature of, at least voter. The state also found that Holloway was in the room with voters as they filled out absentee ballots, a violation of state law. She also handled absentee ballots after they had been completed, the state said.

Because she demonstrated financial hardship, Holloway was to pay only $2,000 of the $10,000 fine, the commission originally decided. The commission also banned Holloway from distributing absentee ballot applications and assisting with absentee ballots for two years -- which have expired.

Holloway is the mother of city council Democratic Majority Leader rJo Winch.

"I looked at it this way," said Olga Iris Vazquez, the city's Democratic registrar, explaining her decision to hire Holloway for her seven-day, $13-an-hour job. "You can't keep punishing them, you can't keep looking negative, you've got to look positive."

"The position is in here," Vazquez said, referring to the office at city hall. "How much damage can she do inside?"

Holloway told Vazquez she was looking for a job in the upcoming election, Vazquez said. The job she got -- one of three temporary election jobs in the office -- includes answering phones and handling election inquiries as they come in, Vazquez said.

Democratic Town Committee Chairman Sean Arena said he was unaware of Holloway's original violation of election law.

"As for her working today," Arena said, "it's a different time. If she's done something, she's paid it, and now she's doing her job helping out."

Immediate efforts to reach Holloway were unsuccessful.

Reprinted with permission of the CityLine blog of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the CityLine at http://blogs.courant.com/cityline/ and the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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