Election Double Header: Voting In The 21st Century

Looking back at the 2010 Bridgeport fiasco and future voting reform.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill
Photo:Chion Wolf
Election Double Header: Voting In The 21st Century
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Election Double Header: Voting In The 21st Century

We now take some things for granted about voting in Connecticut.

1.) It’s gonna happen on a Tuesday.

2.) You’re going to have to register in advance - then go to a polling place and hope you’re on the list.

3.) You’re going to “bubble in” your choice on a piece of paper - yes, “bubble in” is an idiom.

4.) Connecticut is going to be almost irrelevant to the national political discussion.

5.) In some towns, we’re gonna have a hard time conducting an election at all.

But, is there a chance that one - or all of those things - could change? Saturday voting? Same-day registration? Voting from your computer at home? Maneuvering our primaries to a better place on the calendar? Ordering enough ballots for Bridgeport?

We feel like “playing two” today, so it’s time for another “Election Doubleheader” and we’re talking voting. 




I heard you say on the (morning) election show today that the only thing 3rd party candidates do is spoil the election for one of the major candidates. They do that, but it's not the only thing they do. Often they bring up points of discussion and force the other candidates to talk about an issue that would be ignored if not for them being in the race. Ross Perot did that before he went batshit crazy. But at least he brought that to the table.

Then this afternoon I was listening (I was in the car a lot today) and something brought to mind the best candidate "debate" venue I've ever seen. It wasn't really a debate but it happened during the last gubernatorial race here in Connecticut. There was a venue put on by some technology consortium. They had 6 panelists from 6 different sponsoring organizations. Each one had a set of questions they could ask and the went round the group in order. But here's the kicker. Each candidate was given an hour - alone on the stage. The other candidate was not in the room and didn't hear what was asked or answered. The candidate could take as long as he wanted giving an answer, and obviously the longer he talked, the fewer questions he got asked before the hour was up. I think Malloy went first. Then the same questions were asked in the same order to Folley after Malloy had left the room. The contrast was stark. What was so striking was the difference not just in content but in style. Malloy answered with plans and details and information that indicated he had thought about the issues. Folley answered in soundbites and bumper sticker slogans. Regardless of who you agreed with that distinction stood out.