Bill to avoid another Election Day fiasco heads for governor’s desk

A bill aimed at preventing a repeat of last year’s Election Day fiasco, when polling places in Bridgeport and a half dozen other communities ran out of ballots, is headed for the governor’s desk.

The bill approved by the state House of Representatives in a 117-26 vote requires local registrars to inform the Secretary of the State how many ballots they have ordered and gives the secretary the authority to require they order more.

“It’s another pair of eyes. Most of the time they get it right,” said Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. She plans to look at election history of the towns when determining if they have ordered enough ballots. If signed into law, the secretary of the state will have the authority to require towns order more ballots. “It’s not that much money [to order more ballots] for a secure democracy.”

This bill does not include allowing residents to vote by mail, which Merrill has been pushing for to help relieve the long lines at numerous polling places and the threat of polls running of out of ballots. That initiative still awaits action in both the House and Senate.