Connecticut election law has a loophole that the state’s top elections’ official wants closed: It is a felony to vote twice in the same election, but trying and failing is no crime.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill told the legislature’s Government Administration and Election Committee on Monday that the gap in state law was discovered after an incident in which someone tried to vote in New Britain and Berlin on the same day.

The voter, who recently moved from Berlin to New Britain, was allowed to register and vote on election day, as the law allows.

City officials notified their counterparts in Berlin of the voter’s change in address, so when the voter tried to vote again at his old polling place, the fraud was detected.

“You can see, the system worked,” Merrill said.

But local officials who filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission were surprised to learn there is not crime for trying to vote twice in the same election, only for succeeding.

A bill before the committee would close the loophole.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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