Connecticut gets low grade for online election info, but big changes are coming

Connecticut’s election web site scores a 58 on a 100-point scale, with “low usability” and “lack of content,” according to a study by the Pew Center on the States.

But big changes are coming, including a precinct-by-precinct election reporting system that the state hopes to test in April and use publicly in August to gather unofficial results during the expected primaries for U.S. Senate and state legislative races.

The Pew study is based on research conducted from May to November 2010, before the election of Denise Merrill as the secretary of the state.

The state gets points for the information available to military and other overseas voters and the “lookup tools that allow voters to view their registration status, polling place location, and absentee ballot status.”

Downsides include: Connecticut is only one of 13 states that fail to provide a link to a federal database of fundraising for congressional candidates, and its page on election results has only the bare minimums.

Av Harris, a spokesman for Merrill, said she is aware of the changes needed to update the website.

Her office is currently working with Pew and Google on an app to help voters find their polling place. It also is developing software that would allow moderators at every precinct to enter unofficial results on the state website, providing real-time results.

Currently, no results are reported to the state until all precinct results are turned in to a municipality’s head moderator.