Pressure mounts on CT governor to upgrade election infrastructure
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled the name 'Erlinghauser' as two words instead of one. (11:24 a.m. MDT, Sept. 20, 2023)
Voting advocacy organizations in Connecticut are calling on Gov. Ned Lamont to ensure the state's election infrastructure is ready for the 2024 presidential election.
The groups, including the ACLU and the League of Women Voters, said too many voting tabulation machines are defective and cause delays at polling stations.
John Erlingheuser, senior advocacy director for AARP Connecticut, said they are outdated and unreliable.
"They don't manufacture them anymore," he explained. "They break down frequently. People are having to get replacement parts for the voting machines on things like eBay."
Erlingheuser pointed out the legislature approved a bill allowing the state to borrow more than $25 million to replace the vote tabulators but Lamont and other members of the State Bond Commission must hold a formal vote to spend the money.
Voting rights groups say Connecticut has made some recent strides in improving access to the ballot, including the recent approval of early voting, and the restoration of voting rights to people on parole.
He noted new tabulator machines are needed to support those accomplishments and handle the volume of voters expected for next year's presidential election.
"We have a pretty good history here in Connecticut," Erlingheuser acknowledged. "This will only enhance that and make people feel more confident that when they cast their ballot it's private, and it will be counted."
Election officials said newer, high-speed machines allow poll workers to quickly process large stacks of ballots or handle absentee ballots, which are often folded when received by a town clerk. The current tabulators often jam when fed folded paper, creating long lines on Election Day and potentially leading to the shutdown of polling sites.
get more stories like this via email
North Dakota's farming landscape is seeing policy shifts dealing with corporate ownership of agricultural interests. Now, there's fresh debate at the …
Advocates for unpaid family caregivers in Maine say they'll need continued support beyond the recently passed paid family and medical leave program…
The Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida are filing lawsuits against the deacti…
A new report from WGU Labs, a nonprofit affiliate of Western Governors University based in Millcreek, Utah, is shedding light on the importance of …
Many older residents of Washington state are facing strains on their budgets -- and the government programs that could assist them are underused…
Bloomington and Indianapolis are getting some international recognition for the work they're doing to help the environment. The two have been named …
Health and Wellness
New Mexico activists are tapping today's World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, to announce they'll ask the State Legislature to provide more money for treatment …
Bipartisan legislation that proposes the installation of solar panels in schools across Pennsylvania awaits a vote in the state Senate. The Solar …