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Hartford Chooses Three Registrars Of Voters


By Jeff Cohen

November 07, 2012

For the past four years, the city of Hartford has been the only place in the state that has three registrars of voters. And, as WNPR’s Jeff Cohen reports, unofficial results election results show that THAT will continue.

The registrars of voters are the people at the town and city level who oversee the electoral process. They've been in the news the past two election cycles over problems at the polls. State law says that the two major parties get a registrar. And, usually, there are just two – a Democrat and a Republican. But state law also says that the top two vote getters in any election for registrar also get to hold office.

And, on Tuesday, Urania Petit – the candidate from the Working Families Party in Hartford – got about 100 votes more than her Republican counterpart. So for another four years, Hartford will have three registrars.

It doesn't make Bramante happy. He’s the Republican registrar. He says he likely won’t call for a recount. He also says it costs about $125,000 a year for registrar and a deputy – without benefits. And that, he says, is too much.

“That could fund a citywide election every year for the next four years.”

It also doesn’t make Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra happy. On election night, he said the city and the state should professionalize the office.

“I think that the people of Hartford can save $750,000, which we can use for things that are more important and I know that we can get it done much more effectively than what’s happening now. It’s an old vestige of the old patronage system that the people of Hartford can’t afford.”

But even if residents can’t afford a third registrar, they’re going to have to pay for one.

For WNPR, I’m Jeff Cohen.

A clarification: The original article said that it costs $125,000 a year to pay a registrar and deputy -- "without benefits." That should have read "not including benefits." The registrars and deputies have the option of benefits.

Reprinted with permission of Jeff Cohen, author of the blog Capital Region Report. To view other stories on this topic, search Capital Region Report at http://capitalregionreport.wordpress.com/.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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