In a déjà vu situation that recalls his first narrow victory in 2010, the campaign of Connecticut’s Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-WFP) has asked a Superior Court judge to extend voting hours until 9:00 p.m. in Hartford precincts that reportedly failed to obtain voting lists in time for the polls to open on Tuesday morning.
According to CTMirror.org, Malloy’s campaign issued the following statement:
Because of delays and other problems at Hartford polling locations, we are filing a complaint in Hartford Superior Court asking that voting hours be extended to accommodate voters who were unable to vote or were discouraged from voting this morning. Currently the polls in Hartford are working smoothly and voters can cast their ballots. We encourage everyone to vote.
The Hartford registrar of voters’ office has blamed staff reductions on that office’s failure to deliver voting lists to polling sites in the capital city on Tuesday. Olga Vazquez, the Democrat registrar of voters, blamed the delay on staff reductions due to budget cuts that left insufficient staff to prepare the polling lists. The problem reportedly prevented voters in the overwhelmingly Democratic city from casting votes for at least 90 minutes after the opening of the polls at 6:00 a.m.
“It’s easy to point fingers of what went wrong, but we need to understand that when you cut budgets, and we are dealing with so much in a governor’s race, we are going to have challenges,” Vazquez said.
CTMirror reports, however, that Democratic Party officials originally blamed the delay on a printing failure.
Republican state chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. said the GOP would object to an extension of voting hours since voters would still have 12 hours to vote.
“It would seem there is ample time to vote. We’re looking at the issue. The concern is the Democrats are repeating the fiasco of Bridgeport in 2010,” Labriola said. “We won’t stand for it.”
Earlier, Malloy downplayed the delay, referring to it as a mistake that has been rectified, but said he expected either the Democratic Party or his campaign to seek the extended voting hours from the court.
“A lot of people vote early in the morning because they know they’re not going to be available [again] until after 8 o’clock [p.m.],” Malloy said. “That’s the whole point. That’s why we open polling places at 6 a.m.”