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Merrill Teams Up With Nonprofits To Boost Voter Registration

by | May 6, 2014 1:33pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Election 2014, Election Policy, Nonprofits

Christine Stuart photo Connecticut’s human service nonprofits teamed up with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s office Tuesday to launch a statewide voter registration drive.

With the election just seven months away, the voter registration drive is designed to reach the 500,000 clients served through homeless shelters, childcare centers, and other nonprofit providers.

The Nonprofit Human Services Cabinet headed by John Merz, co-executive director of AIDS Connecticut, was unable to say exactly how many clients are eligible to vote but not registered to vote. Merrill estimated that it’s “a lot.”

When somebody is disenfranchised we know “there’s more barriers to overcome to get to the voting booth,” Merz said. The clients these providers serve like the homeless and convicted felons may not even know they are eligible to vote.

When it comes to the homeless population, Merrill said the biggest challenge is “locating them.” But Merrill said the law is clear in Connecticut that a homeless person can establish a residence at a homeless shelter in order to be eligible to vote. Merrill said the challenge for her office is making sure all the local election officials understand the law when it comes to this population.

“Sometimes they get uneasy when a person doesn’t have a permanent address,” she said. “But it’s very clear that people do not lose their eligibility to vote just because they’re in a homeless shelter.”

As for convicted felons, Merrill said they regain their right to vote after they fulfill their parole.

“The problem with that population is they don’t realize they are eligible to vote again,” Merrill said. “They need to be reinstated so there’s an affirmative action that’s needed to reinstate them. It’s not automatic.”

She said some worry they might not be eligible to vote again and get nervous about exercising their right. She said that’s why the contact with the nonprofit providers is so important.

Merz said the nonprofits have received the materials and training from Merrill’s office and Nonprofit VOTE to help them let the clients know about their right to vote.

Lisa Tepper Bates, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, said they received a tool kit they’re distributing electronically to each provider so each provider can print materials they can use with their staff and their clients to inform them about the process.

“We’re doing this largely with our own staffing and our own resources as part of the work we do everyday with clients,” Tepper Bates said.

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(19) Archived Comments

posted by: art vandelay | May 6, 2014  2:29pm

art vandelay

As I see it this is a state subsidized effort to make sure more Democrats vote come November.  Merrill and her fellow Progressives are concentrating in areas where they will entice people who are more apt to vote for Democrats.  Why is she not using her office and my tax dollars to canvass suburban or rural areas where voters are more likely to vote Republican.  Isn’t this what her and her party profess?  Equality.  I don’t believe there is ANY equality into what she’s pulling off.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 6, 2014  3:27pm

So glad that she is adding to the Republican Party voter rolls.

There are alot of smart and not destitute people out there that arent registered to vote because they are fed up with the lies and corruption. How about targetting them? Oh that’s right. The percentages aren’t in a certain party’s favor when you do that.

posted by: gutbomb86 | May 6, 2014  4:31pm


More victim ideology from Art and Joe. World’s smallest violin playing just for the two of you.

posted by: art vandelay | May 6, 2014  4:35pm

art vandelay

The object of Merrill’s Office is to get as many Democrats to vote come November by any means possible.  Might as well expand the Toni Harp Machine to the state level with open bar free stretch limo rides.  Vote Malloy signs will replace the Vote Harp ones.

posted by: art vandelay | May 6, 2014  4:40pm

art vandelay

I don’t need any violin players.  All I asking for is that if my tax dollars are going to be spent on registering potential Democrats, I want an equal amount spent registering Republicans.  Seems you get pretty upset when your side is being called out for “underhanded” tactics.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 6, 2014  9:39pm

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

Wise words wouldnt you agree?

Todays version.

Give a man a welfare check, a free cell phone, free internet, cash for his clunker, food stamps, section 8 housing, free contraceptives, Medicaid, 99 weeks of unemployment, free medicine, and he will vote Democrat the rest of his life, even after he’s dead.

..and some of you wonder why I’m a Conservative, and why I think the real hate is with those that enable others rather than pushing them to enable themselves.

posted by: art vandelay | May 7, 2014  12:11am

art vandelay

Well said!

posted by: gsamuel | May 7, 2014  1:53am

This is a great initiative as long as its bi-partisan, tri-partisan…We should encourage all communities Urban Suburban,working poor… to register to vote & VOTE because the fiscal waste and mismanagement is crippling our economy which effects the quality of life for the Middle class on down! The everyday citizen suffers because of the lack of over sight over the irresponsible spending of the tax payer investment.  We need to make all people running for office EARN our vote - the days of voting for someone because our families know each other are OVER!  We MUST vote for the BEST candidate PERIOD - its time to check voting records - if they don’t believe all kids deserve access to Safe & quality & fiscally responsoble schools than we should NOT vote for them because schools produce our FUTURE workforce therefore Quality Public schools should be a MUST for the sake of our economy!

posted by: gutbomb86 | May 7, 2014  2:26am


@art - apparently you do need them, otherwise you wouldn’t keep whining about this stuff.

@joe - another blatantly one-sided, short-sighted comment. What I think you mean to say is give a corporation billions in tax breaks that far outweigh any number of safety net programs, and the CEO will vote Republican for the rest of his life.

You’re just a self-centered kind of guy. We get it.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 7, 2014  6:57am

Gut I am not going to disagree with you on corporation money from state and federal government that they shouldnt get.

CEO’s are slightly Republican leaning for sure, but the real money is Wall Street and those CEO’s are overwhelmingly liberal and vote Dem.

What’s the percentage of people in my comment that vote Dem and how many of them are there compared to the number of CEO’s? Lets assume every CEO of a publicly traded company voted Republican, isnt that about .1% of the group listed above?

There are 15000 publicly traded companies in the US, and I would bet you one of those GutBomb sandwiches that there are more than 15000 people milking the system and voting Dem just in this state.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 7, 2014  7:21am

GSamuel is right but thats not the case. If it was I would have praised this effort and not made the comment I did. This is a partisan effort.

Seriously, if your target for this is people that are in a class that get something from the government, explain to me how it is anything other than getting them to vote so they can try to protect what they get from the government.

posted by: art vandelay | May 7, 2014  7:53am

art vandelay

I wouldn’t be wining if Merrill’s office put the same effort in the suburbs as she is in the cities where Democrats outnumber Republicans 95-5.  I also do not understand your distain for Corporate American.  You seem to center on the CEO’s and not the everyday employees.  You seem to stereotype every CEO as the Gordon Getgo type which they are not.  Without successful CEO’s this country would not exist. They are the ones that provide the jobs in this country and contribute to the GNP.  You have to remember Government cannot create wealth, they can only confiscate it then redistribute it.  This is NOT the principle this country was founded upon.  It was all about individualism and entrepreneurship.  Government is only a parasite for which you worship and probably leach onto for your existence.  This country would be far better off if there were fewer leaches & parasites.

posted by: art vandelay | May 7, 2014  10:53am

art vandelay

My guess is that you’re trying to justify your spot on the cart that I pull.  God help if you were forced off the cart and had to pull it along side with me.  It’s why you worship the Democrats & Socialists that provide you with that sacred spot.

posted by: art vandelay | May 7, 2014  11:18am

art vandelay

The definition of a “cart rider” is anyone who obtains their living from via government or union employees being paid by government employees.  Cart pullers are people who work in the private sector or for wealth creators like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Ted Turner & others.

posted by: gutbomb86 | May 7, 2014  12:33pm


@art - don’t worry, we know all your little code words for people other than yourselves. Very transparent. Is someone paying you to produce garbage comments on the internet all day? Because it would seem to me that you’re the one not doing anything productive.

If you really think you’re not “taking” anything from society, please let us know the next time you find your way around without using any roads. Ridiculous. Turn off Fox, start interacting with real people, and spare us the anti-govt nonsense. This website wouldn’t be here for you to waste all your time on without the gov’t.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 7, 2014  1:12pm

Codewords GutBomb? You mean racial code words?

I guess NBC News is reporting that in Michael Jordans new autobiography he says that at one point in his life he hated all white people and he was a racist. I like Michael Jordan THE MAN, and I RESPECT him for being HONEST. For that I hope he doesnt get raked over the coals, but if he does it will not be by the left, because they will no doubt say “look at how he was treated. How could he have been anything but a racist and angry?”

Lets see how this plays out. The greatest basketball player in the history of the game says this, so maybe it can be good.

Maybe one day we can have an honest dialogue with all groups (black, white, hispanic , asian) but that will never happen until what the left has done with political correctness is done away with.

posted by: art vandelay | May 7, 2014  1:19pm

art vandelay

You’re correct.  I have Al Gore to thank for the internet.  Sorry I can’t expound further. I have a cart to pull.  You’re welcome to come for the ride.

posted by: Joebigjoe | May 7, 2014  3:23pm

Art is that a solar powered cart? Those babies are expensive, so hopefully you got a tax credit to buy it.

Now you can be smug, like some on the left.

posted by: art vandelay | May 7, 2014  5:23pm

art vandelay

You’re 100% correct.  The solar panels were designed & manufactured by Solindra.

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