Candiate qualifies to run on three lines for registrar – Case made for third registrar in Hartford

Connecticut has 169 towns with a Democratic and a Republican registrar. If anyone else runs and comes in 1st or 2nd then there are three (or even four registrars). Currently Hartford has three registrars. For several years we have been articulating the reasons this makes sense, how it can be done without additional cost, and the potential cure of “Doing for Elections what we have done for Probate”.

Two recent news items are relevant. A defense of three registrars in Hartford by Ed Vargas. And candidate Doug Lary running on three 3rd party lines for registrar Windham/Willimantic.

From the Norwich Bulletin <read>

“All three of my nominating petitions have now been examined and approved,” Lary said. “Each letter states that I am therefore qualified to appear on the ballot for the office under the party designation.”

Lary has been collecting signatures for months. He was required to collect 49 signatures supporting his candidacy, or 1 percent of the total number of votes for the office of registrar in the 2010 election in Windham. Larry collected 122 signatures to run unaffiliated. He collected another 89 for the Green Party petition, and 83 for local The Bottom Line party.

Lary, however, is unsure how his name will appear on the ballot. That is up to Town Clerk Patricia Spruance. Spruance must present a ballot to the Secretary of the State’s office no later than Oct. 26…

For Lary, the biggest challenge is explaining to voters how the registrars office works.

“I attended ECSU’s Student Activity Day Sept. 6 and was involved with the civic engagement efforts there,” Lary said. “At my table I answered questions on registration issues for students, and helped several students change their registration or register for the first time in Windham. As the same form is used all across Connecticut, I was able to provided advice and forms to many students to adjust their registration in other towns.”

A third registrar can protect the interests of the voters beyond the two major parties, without significant budget increases. Ed Vargas echos our sentiments and provides some additional ways that costs could be saved in Hartford by listening to a third voice in a letter to the Courant appearing in today’s printed edition <read>

 But blaming the registrars’ department for Hartford’s financial problems does a great disservice to voters. The truth is that political patronage and waste are to blame, and we can cut costs without jeopardizing fair elections. As a candidate for state representative in Hartford, I agree with Working Families Party Registrar Urania Petit and the common-sense reductions in spending she has fought for. For example, she’s suggested hiring one person to supervise the vote tabulator, instead of four, saving $10,800 each election, and she’s proposed pay cuts for the registrars. With these proposals, there should be no threat of November’s elections not being held. Any possibility of not holding an election as proposed by the Democratic and Republican registrars is an act of voter suppression. Similarly, having a single registrar could lead to voter suppression. The reason Connecticut’s statute demands multiple registrars in each town is to protect everyone’s voting rights, even those who are outside the mainstream political parties.

<earlier coverage on third registrar and reform>

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2 responses to “Candiate qualifies to run on three lines for registrar – Case made for third registrar in Hartford”

  1. hapless registrar

    The greater problem is the ability to attain any number of lines on a ballot simply by submitting seperate petitions and letters of candidacy. This is especially in situations such as this with so few signatures needed. This could easily deteriorate into a contest of how many lines a minor candidate can create.

    Ballot access should be limited to established and registered parties along with petitioning candidates limited to one line. Candidates could still get additional lines, but someone ‘gaming’ the system by submitting three or four sets of petitions for obscure or nonexistant parties.

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