Hartford Registrars: Fighting Disrupts City Office

Hartford Courant, Fighting Disrupts City Office – Help Offered For Registrars <read>

Squabbling between the city’s three [registrars of voters] has become so disruptive that Mayor Pedro Sagarra wrote them a formal letter asking them to work out their differences. He even offered to personally convene a meditation session to help resolve them.

In his letter, sent Oct 4 to Democratic Registrar Olga Iris Vazquez, Republican Registrar Salvatore Bramante and Working Families party Registrar Urania Petit, Segarra noted the special dynamic involved in having a registrars’ office with three political parties represented.

On the other hand we would think that three registrars offer the opportunity to vote on disagreements, rather than the need for the normal two registrars to agree on everything. Two registrars is no guarantee of dust-up free election administration, see <here> <here> <here>

We are not so sure the problem is with all three registrars, perhaps the problem involves two registrars, with perhaps only one causing the problem. Only the registrars and a neutral mediator could know for sure:

Petit said the incident that likely prompted Segarra’s letter occurred several weeks ago when a meeting was scheduled between the corporation counsel’s office and the registrars office to discuss plans for the November election. A few days before the meeting, Petit said, Vazquez sent an email that she wouldn’t be attending if Petit was going to attend.

That type of dispute has been the norm since she took office, Petit said.

[The other registrars declined comment on the current situation]

Here is an example of another dust-up from 2009 in Hartford <read>

The Courant would rather see one registrar, in place of two or three in each town. We support the current law, but suggest that Hartford could easily reduce hours and salaries to compensate for three people doing the job, with the squabbling being an example of wasting the taxpayers money. <read>

We would like to see the state move to regional professional election administration, to do for elections what we have done for probate.  But until that should happen we support the current system that provides one registrar for each major party and one or two additional registrars if they receive more votes than the major party candidates:

  • Hartford is dominated by the Democratic party, so the party needs and deserves a Democratic registrar
  • Hartford participates in state-wide elections and Republican voters state-wide need a Republican registrar in Hartford to watch out for that party’s interests in those elections.
  • Hartford’s second largest vote getting party is the Working Families Party, they deserve and need a registrar to watch out for their interests.

In Hartford, sometimes it seems that one Democratic registrar is not enough to watch out for the interests of all Democratic voters <read>

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