Connecticut judge extends Bridgeport poll hours

Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz explains to the press at the Hartford Hilton that the polls in Bridgeport will be held open an extra two hours after a shortage of ballots in several precincts was reported Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010.
Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz explains to the press at the Hartford Hilton that the polls in Bridgeport will be held open an extra two hours after a shortage of ballots in several precincts was reported Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. Sean D. Elliot/The Day

Hartford - A spokesman for the secretary said just as polls closed that a Superior Court judge had agreed to let polls remain open until 10 p.m. in Bridgeport.

There were reports that numerous polling places had run out of paper ballots amid heavy turnout in Bridgeport.

State Democrats had asked Judge Michael Sheldon to extend voting in Bridgeport alone by two hours to accommodate those who had been unable to cast a ballot.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Jim Himes says she's heard reports of voters being turned away. The elections commission could not confirm that. Nicolescu advised people who haven't voted yet to get in line before 8 p.m., the time when the polls are traditionally scheduled to close.

Republican State Chairman Chris Healy filed a complaint saying he believes it was illegal for Bridgeport officials to give voters photocopied ballots on Tuesday.

Republicans also complained of fraud in Bridgeport, and the Green Party said there was no space for write-in candidates on some ballots as voters in Connecticut went to the polls Tuesday to elect a new governor and U.S. senator.

The chairman of the Connecticut Republicans has filed a complaint with state election officials, saying it was illegal for voters in Bridgeport to use photocopied ballots.

Chris Healy sent the complaint to the Election Enforcement Commission and the Secretary of the State on Tuesday.

Healy says he learned that voting officials at certain Bridgeport polling places made photocopies of a ballot, which he said violates Connecticut's strict procedures for printing, packaging, opening, stamping, storage, delivery and security of election ballots.

Healy says allowing voters to use photocopied ballots violates the law and jeopardizes the integrity of the voting process and ballot security.

Green Party of Connecticut spokesman Tim McKee said ballots in Glastonbury, Madison, Torrington, Waterbury and Windham had no space for write-ins, while ballots in other towns provided one square inch to add a candidate's name.

Lesley Mara, the deputy secretary of the state, said voters do not have to fit write-in candidates' names in that space or even spell names correctly for votes to count.

Av Harris, spokesman for Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, explains to the press at the Hartford Hilton that the secretary will arrive there to discuss the Bridgeport ballot situation as soon as she finishes in court Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010.
Av Harris, spokesman for Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, explains to the press at the Hartford Hilton that the secretary will arrive there to discuss the Bridgeport ballot situation as soon as she finishes in court Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. Sean D. Elliot/The Day
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