Thursday, November 04, 2010

Bridgeport Conn. 21,000 ballots for 70,000 voters????

[ SOURCE ] In Bridgeport Conneticut 21,000 votes were ordered for a possible 70,000 voters. "How can that happen?", you ask. Just read on.

The city's Republican registrar of voters, Joseph Borges, cited cost as a reason why his office ordered 21,000 ballots for nearly 70,000 voters, a colossal misjudgment that forced a judge to extend polling hours at nearly half of the Park City's polls Tuesday — believed to be unprecedented in the state.

Two candidates claimed that the wrong replacement ballots were delivered to a polling place, leaving their names of the ballots in their own district. And the president of the local NAACP said African-American and Latino voters were disproportionately affected by a ballot shortfall that saw some voters leave the polls in disgust without voting and not return later, despite the urgings of city officials, who used reverse 911 calls to tell voters about the extended hours.

"We are taking responsibility; it is our fault,'' said Borges, who spoke shortly after Finch blasted the registrars' office. Finch also outlined the emergency measures that city hall had to take in response to the ballot shortfall, including having police deliver photocopied ballots to polling places, and announced a three-person panel to study the Election Day debacle that drew national attention and took another chip out of Bridgeport's image.

"We both apologize to the voters,'' continued an exhausted Borges, who said he was also conveying the sentiment of Democratic Registrar Sandi Ayala, who declined to speak to the media.

Told that the mayor had said her office had made a gross error in judgment, Ayala said, "I'm not going to respond to that.''

Borges said the office considers cost and past election turnouts in ordering ballots, and he said that in the last few elections, several thousand ballots were left over and had to be shredded.

Each ballot costs between 50 cents and $1 to print, depending on the number of candidates.

Borges said his office felt that he had estimated correctly based on the turnout in the 2006 midterm election in Bridgeport of just over 20 percent. But since then, the registration rolls have swelled in Bridgeport because of the emergence of Barack Obama as a candidate and then as president, and Obama was in the city at a rally that drew thousands to the Arena at Harbor Yard on the Saturday before election, stumping for U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and Richard Blumenthal.

Borges himself noted that Obama's appearance had fired up the electorate, and with Himes locked in a close race with Republican challenger Dan Debicella, the activists in Bridgeport went to work. Some polls would record turnouts of nearly 50 percent Tuesday night.

1 comment:

Will said...

How can that kind of mistake happen? Makes you wonder. In Maryland, the GOP make auto calls to people randomly to tell them not to go vote, trying to discourage O'Malley (D) supporters from voting. Copy and paste this link to read about it. Senator Cardin is calling for a Justice Department investigation. I think something like that happened in Texas too...but not sure of the facts in that case.