Long Lines In West Hartford Dwindle Mid-Day
The voting line at Conard High School in West Hartford had dwindled around 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, but earlier in the day voters complained of having to wait for more than 90 minutes to cast their votes.
Some voters walked away and promised to come back later, but Sen. Beth Bye of West Hartford fears that may not be the case.
“Every time someone leaves it’s a problem,” Bye said Tuesday.
Thomas Perone, who was poll standing for Democratic candidates, said around 10 a.m. when he arrived people were coming out complaining they waited more than an hour to vote.
“This was the complaint department,” Perone said.
Mark Levitz joked that he went home and shaved before coming back.
“They really should have lounge chairs in there,” Levitz said who was upset with the long and winding path through to the voting booth. “They really should have better signs.”
Melinda Decker, whose husband John Henry Decker is running for Congress, said it depended on what street you lived on. She said the A-Ms were getting backed up.
Poll Moderator Diane Gordon said they split up the lines from two to four to move more people through quickly. She said they also moved the voting privacy booths back to give people more room.
“By 12:30 p.m. we could see the wall again,” Gordon said.
As of 1 p.m. of the 3,956 voters who use that polling place about 1,644 or about 41.5 percent had already voted.
There are about 38,000 registered voters in West Hartford and with redistricting they cut the number of polling places they had from 20 down to 9, which contributed to some of the problem in that town.
Av Harris, a spokesman for the Secretary of the State, said they sent staff into West Hartford to help them out and they spoke to the local election officials who agreed to add more checkers.
He said they were able to swear more people in and split the lines from two to three and four in the nine locations.
The other problem cropping up today has been with local election officials in some towns asking for more voter identification than necessary.
Harris said voters don’t need a photo ID in order to cast a ballot. Anything such as a utility bill with their name and address on it will suffice.
As for long lines, Harris said, voters should expect large crowds and be prepared for a potential wait.
Meanwhile, SEIU sent out a press release accusing U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon’s campaign of attempting to cause confusion at the polls.
They said McMahon workers in purple T-shirts, which encourage voters to split their ticket are the same color as the SEIU purple T-shirts.
“This is a cynical and phony attempt to further confuse voters. SEIU is well known around Connecticut, especially in the cities, for its member activists, always clad in their purple t-shirts,” Paul Filson, director of the SEIU CT State Council, said.
“I’ve received numerous calls telling me that they were initially confused by the McMahon T-shirts,” Filson added.
He said their union has endorsed Chris Murphy and Obama and the scheme is just to confuse voters.
Click here for more about the T-shirt controversy.
Tags: connecticut, West Hartford, Voters, long lines, registrars, sots, Secretary of the State, Av Harris, SEIU, purple t-shirts, McMahon, dh
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