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Merrill Not Ready To Mandate Electronic Reporting of Election Results
by Christine Stuart | Mar 18, 2014 7:00am

She would like to get more election results sent to her office electronically, instead of by fax or police escort, but Secretary of the State Denise Merrill doesn’t believe it should be mandated.

That’s what she told the Government Administration and Elections Committee on Monday.

Merrill, who has been pushing to modernize the election system in Connecticut, isn’t ready to require local registrars of voters, who have until 6 p.m. the day after an election, to send results electronically to the state. She would prefer email, but many still fax it or drive it to Hartford.

Even when they are emailed, the results shared with Merrill’s office are in a rudimentary form. Most Election Day tallies are still handwritten, depending on the municipality, and 2013 was the first year pdfs of those results were uploaded online.

But Merrill encouraged lawmakers Monday to vote against a bill that would require the Auditors of Public Accounts to do a performance review of the electronic vote tally system tested by Merrill’s office and 32 municipalities in the Nov. 5, 2013 election.

The 2013 municipal election marked the second year in which the state attempted to pilot a real-time, web-based reporting system intended to replace the laborious and outdated process utilizing paperwork and fax machines to collect the data. Merrill said the system was designed for about $100,000 by PCC Technology Group, which has an office in Bloomfield.

“This is still in the testing phase,” Merrill told the committee. “That’s why we’re still going slow on this.”

She said she wants to make sure the system works for every town before they put it online.

[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the CT NEWS JUNKIE website]

Senate Follows House In Adopting Constitutional Amendment To Expand Absentee Ballot Voting
by Christine Stuart | Apr 18, 2012 7:01pm

A resolution to amend the state constitution to allow no-excuse absentee ballots cleared its second hurdle Wednesday when it passed the Senate 21-14. It passed the House on April 4, but did not receive enough support to immediately be placed on November’s ballot.

The amendment will have to be passed again by next year’s General Assembly before it can be placed on the ballot in the first statewide election in 2014.

Proponents of the resolution said society has changed since the constitution was last revisited and voting laws need to be modernized.

“People should not have to choose between their life obligations and their right to vote. That’s not a fair choice,” Sen. Gayle Slossberg, D-Milford, said. “This resolution starts the conversation about a possible change to our constitution that would increase voter participation by making it easier for people to cast a ballot.”

But Republican lawmakers claimed the no-excuse absentee ballot portion of the resolution was a red herring.

They said the resolution opens the door to giving the legislature the power to change election laws and allow for things such as Saturday voting or voting online.

[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the CT NEWS JUNKIE website]