The state Senate voted unanimously this week to make changes to election laws to prevent another Election Day fiasco, when polling places in Bridgeport and a half dozen other communities ran out of ballots.

The bill 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.

“That’s what’s missing right now, another pair of eyes to make sure [towns] order enough,” said Secretary of the State Denise Merrill during an interview.

The bill now heads to the House for final approval.

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.

“I’m hearing pretty broad support for it,” Merrill said, but noted it needs 75 percent approval this year in each chamber since it’s a constitutional amendment.

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Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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