Merrill: Bridgeport Election Big Concern–Power Out At Most Polling Places–City Officials Preparing For Consolidation Of Precincts

Can Bridgeport catch an election break? Just days before a presidential election that produces the highest city turnout only five of the city’s 20-plus polling precincts had power as of Wednesday night–most of them schools–throwing local elections officials and Mayor Bill Finch into overdrive to accommodate Tuesday’s vote.

Here’s what’s going on after OIB received input from Bridgeport Democratic Registrar Sandi Ayala and the office of Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, the state’s chief elections official:

Only five of Bridgeport’s scheduled polling places have electricity. The mayor is working with UI to try to get power restored to all polling places in Bridgeport but the possibility remains that some of them will need to be moved or consolidated. Ayala says the city is currently in assessment mode. She said they will make that call by Friday night so adequate notice can be given to voters. City Hall has power where elections officials are able to prepare voting lists, and input newly registered voters into the system before the deadline Thursday at 8 p.m, charge batteries for the optical scanner machines in case they need to run them on battery power.

Av Harris, spokesman for SOTS, says “I would say right now we are most concerned about Bridgeport because the city was hit very hard by flooding, power outages there are serious, and it is the largest city in the state with many polling places. So you have a combination of the worst damage from the storm to a city where voting is naturally the most complicated because of its sheer size. But we are confident that voting will proceed as planned next Tuesday. If new polling places need to be found, they will be, and we hope proper adequate notice is given by the Registrars of Voters as required by state law. The picture will continue to change and develop greatly between today and the beginning of next week.”



  1. If there is no power I bet less than 25k will show up; Linda will benefit greatly. Nothing from UI as yet smh shame on them and to think it was they who shut it down.

  2. Open the Webster Bank Arena! It has the capacity, infrastructure and parking to set up voting precincts. Offer bus service from neighborhood polling places.

    Even a failed restaurateur could figure this out 🙂
    Birdman might end up eating crow with his little quip to Murphy a couple of weeks ago.

  3. If Finch wants to win the charter question vote he will fire up the generators in the North End and power down the East End and Whiskey Hill.
    If Finch is pulling for Murphy, Himes and the Democratic ticket then he will do everything he can to make sure all of the East End precincts are up and running.
    Where do Finch’s loyalties lie?
    To quote JML, Time Will Tell.

  4. AndersonScooper is a know-nothing pooper.
    Denise Merrill, like all good Secretaries Of The State, will claim:
    1) This is a local matter and she has utmost confidence in Mayor Finch and Registrar Ayala.
    2) She will monitor the happenings but the legislature has cut her budget and there is only so much she can do.
    3) Her GPS (Goddamn Polling Stations) broke and she couldn’t find B’port.

    In other words, she will stay far, far away from B’port and its election games because one of these days she may need the machine pulling for her.

  5. Rev. Al should bring in a team to make sure this election (charter question) isn’t stolen like previous elections. This will be like the old Mandy days when ballots were thrown in the trash. They want to win at any cost and will do anything to get there.

    Our mayor is making national news by blaming the power outages on the UI company. I’m sure NY and NJ have lots of sympathy for you. Think about someone other than yourself for a change.

    1. Fixer. As you know I am not a friend of Bill Finch and have taken him to task many times. I believe what he said about the UI bypassing Bridgeport. My son and I spent a total of 10 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday touring all the neighborhoods in Bridgeport. I did see scattered trees down and I did see the flooding on Tuesday in the South End. The one thing I did not see was UI repair crews all over the city. I did see a total of four trucks in two days but none with their booms in the air and I saw no major repairs taking place. As of this afternoon 11/1 Main Street between North Ave and St. V’s still had no power.
      I firmly believe the UI shut the city down and did so for no good reason. This city and speaking of Bridgeport has seen plenty of storms that did more damage and yet the city still had power in most areas. I have lived in my house for 42 years and only remember one time we lost power for eight hours not two full days. Finch is right to blame the utilities.

  6. Some VP from UI was on TV this AM saying they were not shortchanging B’port as far as recovery efforts go and they would go through the numbers of crews assigned to each city and town when they have their morning conference call with municipal officials. He seemed adamant in making this point.
    Furthermore he said UI is asking the Chief Elected Officials to prioritize the restoration of service within their own municipality.
    Do ya think the mayor might be caught lying again?

    1. Give some thought on this for a minute. If the UI were prioritizing by per capita income, how is it that Fairfield, Southport, Trumbull, etc. are still in the dark? Beyond a doubt, Finch is absolutely right to blame the UI; to imply he has prioritized one neighborhood over another is just a vicious accusation you are making simply because you don’t like him.

  7. The mayor lies every time he opens his mouth. I have yet to see him take responsibility for anything. He just points his finger and blames someone else. Bpt was very fortunate. No loss of life. No loss of homes. No fires. Just murders in the street and if Finch could blame that on the UI he would.

    It is getting more and more embarrassing to live here. Finch acts like a spoiled rich kid who does no wrong and has a tantrum when something doesn’t go his way. He is a fool.

    Lennie, why are you editing people’s posts? Protecting your advertising space?

  8. Any word on the power on Main Street (below St. Vincents)? Also a shame all of the businesses on Boston Avenue (at least as of yesterday) were dark. Tomlinsons/KFC, Peoples Bank, etc.

  9. *** A low voter turnout could be a win for the vote “yes” advocates who don’t realize the negative domino effect a loss of voting rights by citizens on education could have on future voting rights in general! ***


Leave a Reply