Hartford Registrars Await Extra Funding For Election
Seek $115,624 From City
By JENNA CARLESSO
October 19, 2012
HARTFORD —— With a little more than two weeks until the general election, it appears unlikely the city's registrars of voters will receive the additional funds they requested to help run the polls on Nov. 6.
Salvatore Bramante, the city's Republican registrar, and Olga Iris Vazquez, his Democratic counterpart, submitted a request for funding to the city council last month, saying the issue is "urgent, as current departmental funding is insufficient to support the event in the manner required by law."
But city council President Shawn Wooden referred the registrars to Mayor Pedro Segarra, saying the council cannot transfer money from one department to another without a request from the mayor.
The city council's last meeting before the election is Monday, and Segarra has not submitted a request for additional funding for the registrars' office.
"The determination is still under review," Segarra's spokeswoman, Maribel La Luz, wrote in an e-mail. "As of right now, they have sufficient funds available to fulfill all obligations for the November 6 election."
In their request for funding, the registrars provided a spreadsheet that breaks down the various costs they say are required for the November election and to pay employees, including themselves, throughout the fiscal year. The spreadsheet indicates that the office would run $115,624 short after covering the various costs. It does not include costs associated with the re-vote for the 5th State House District primary that took place Oct. 1.
The request also notes that the city council cut the registrars' budget last spring from $763,909 to $583,909.
Bramante and Vazquez could not be reached for comment Friday.
In his response to the registrars, Wooden pointed out that the council already had approved additional funds for the office earlier in the fiscal year. The council approved a request for an additional $80,000 to help cover the cost of the city's Aug. 14 primary election and is currently considering a request to grant the office about $8,500 that would cover "excess expenditures" made during the previous fiscal year, Wooden said.
"This election was contemplated in their budget," Wooden said Friday, referring to the upcoming November election. "They have the money. The problem is going to come down the road [if] they're not making cuts to reflect the budget that was approved of this fiscal year."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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