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How Many Times Have You Voted?

August 9th, 2016 · 7 Comments · City Politics, News and Events

All the mail pieces, phone calls, door knocks, lit drops, eblasts basically come down to this: which campaign operations most efficiently sway supporters to the polls today? And oh, we cannot forget absentee ballots, the safety net of campaigns falling short on the computer count. More than 1,000 absentee ballots have been cast citywide covering four Democratic legislative primaries, according to returns in the Town Clerk’s Office.

The primaries:

In Connecticut’s 22nd District, freshman State Senator Marilyn Moore faces Bridgeport City Council President Tom McCarthy. The district covers all of Trumbull, the north and western portions of the city and a piece of Monroe.

In Connecticut’s 23 District, State Senator Ed Gomes is battling Board of Education Chair Dennis Bradley. This district includes about two thirds of the city and a portion of western Stratford.

The 126th State House District has gotten testy in the final days between incumbent Charlie Stallworth and school board member Maria Pereira. The district covers portions of the Upper East Side and North End. Stallworth’s campaign has benefited from thousands of dollars in independent expenditures from the pro charter school movement as well as a political action committee spreading a negative flyer against his opponent. Independent expenditures are permissible provided they are not coordinated with the campaign they benefit. A recent East End PAC invitation, however, encouraged Stallworth supporters to attend a PAC fundraiser near his home asking for a $50 donation. Does this constitute a coordinated effort? Sounds like a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission may be filed.

In the 124th Assembly District incumbent Andre Baker is being challenged by multiple-mayoral candidate Charlie Coviello.

From CT Secretary of the State Denise Merrill:

The Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill and the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) are launching a primary day hotline to respond to any voter problems at the polls. The public can access the hotline by dialing 866-SEEC-INFO or emailing elections@ct.gov. The hotline and email address will be monitored throughout the day by SEEC and the Secretary of the State’s office.

“We count on the public as much as we do election workers to report problems,” said Michael J. Brandi, Executive Director and General Counsel of the State Elections Enforcement Commission.  “Anyone with knowledge of election fraud or voting rights abuses is encouraged to call to report suspected violations. We will have the phones fully staffed to answer questions, advise on complaint procedures and, if appropriate, request the assistance of state criminal or federal law enforcement authorities.”

Secretary Merrill said, “If you see something, say something. We can only respond to issues if you let us know us they are happening. If you have any problems on primary day, please don’t stay silent. Give us a call or send an email.”

Concerns may be reported anonymously, however, it is requested that callers identify the town and polling place where problems occurred in addition to as many details as possible. SEEC and the Secretary of the State’s staff will attend to the situation and find a solution in a timely manner. In addition to the email and telephone hotline, the Secretary of the State’s office and SEEC will hold two separate conference calls during primary day, August 9, to share information about potential problems or complaints at the polls, and coordinate the appropriate response.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on August 9 in a number of towns and cities for registered Republicans and Democrats. Voters should go to myvote.ct.gov to confirm that they are registered to vote, locate their polling places and check what type of identification to bring with them to the polls.

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