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Category: Connecticut (page 1 of 2)

Campaign Finance Woes in Connecticut: State Democratic Party, Governor Again Accused of Misusing Funds in 2014 Elections

By: Cris DeBlaise

When seeking reelection in 2014, Connecticut incumbent Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy was neck-and-neck in one of the closest gubernatorial races in the country. In a last-minute attempt to garner more support, Malloy and his team spent over $250,000 to send out a pro-Malloy mass mailing in the weeks leading up the election. Though the effort itself does not sound controversial, the way the election mailer was financed set off alarm bells at the state—and now federal—levels.

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Connecticut and Fair Representation: How Minority Parties Are Guaranteed Representation With “Limited Voting”, And Whether The Practice Burdens The Right To Vote

By Jake Albert

Most elections in our country are winner-take-all.  Parties will spend all of their time and money supporting a certain candidate for office, and the candidate that receives more votes wins 100% of the power.  That is how our country is run at the federal level: we only have one President, no matter how many votes other candidates receive.  But states sometimes employ alternative methods for certain local elections, with Connecticut being one of them.

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Connecticut Becomes Fifth State to Make Automatic Voter Registration Change

By: Cristina DeBiase

In recent years, states have passed laws making it harder to vote through restrictive provisions, such as requiring photo ID, limiting early voting, eliminating same-day registration, or all of the above. Since the 2010 midterm elections alone, nearly half of the states have placed additional restrictions upon voting. Looking forward to November 8, 14 states have new laws that will curtail voting rights for the first time in a presidential election.

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Strike Three, You’re In? The Two-Party (And Sometimes Three-Party) Election Registrar System in Connecticut

By: Jake Albert

Elections are political.  In every election voters choose among candidates who are associated with one party or another, with two major parties dominating the landscape in this country.  Choosing a member from one of these parties involves countless hours of campaigning and millions of dollars nationwide, all to advance one’s own, or often one’s party’s, agenda while in office.  This can often lead to gridlock when partisan political agendas collide.  But what happens when the very people who run the actual elections are also part of this partisan political system?

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Connecticut’s Current Battle over Campaign Contributions

By: Lauren Coleman

In 2014, Republicans filed a complaint against Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, alleging that he and the Democratic Party used state contractor funds in violation of state law for Malloy’s campaign.  A legal battle has ensued, raising questions about the interplay between state and federal campaign finance laws, as well as the jurisdictional reach of the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) to conduct investigations.    ‘

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The Nightmares from Bridgeport

As the November election entered the early afternoon, poll workers in the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut began to notice something strange.  With many hours of voting left, there was an unusually small amount of ballots remaining. Those concerns quickly turned to nightmares as precincts all across the city ran out of ballots. Confusion and tempers grew as fast as the lines voters were forced to stand in.  People began to turn away without voting, their civic duty inaccessible.

Registrars were told by the Secretary of State to photo copy ballots at the city print shop.  They began delivering the needy precincts packets of 100 ballots at a time. People who waited were given the opportunity to vote on a photocopied ballot. The State’s Democratic Party sued the City for not providing enough ballots and asked for immediate action. Superior Court Judge Marshall K. Berger, Jr. made the ruling that the polls at 12 precincts would remain open until 10PM, two hours beyond the normal closing. During this extra time about 500 votes were cast. Continue reading

Hotspots: Key Post-Election Disputes in the States

Keep checking back here for links to the latest state midterm election results and recount coverage

LINKS BY STATE:

Alaska, Arizona, CaliforniaColorado, Connecticut, Illinois (Gubernatorial, House), Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri,New York, North Carolina, OregonTexas, VirginiaWashington

SENATE

Alaska

Joe Miller, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alaska, will probably require a hand recount of the write-in votes before he will concede the race.

Wednesday night, Democrat Scott McAdams conceded the race after only getting 23% of the vote.

Murkowski and Miller are preparing for the next round of ballot counting that will begin next week. Murkowski has set up a separate campaign account to support campaign efforts in the counting process.

Joe Miller is questioning the fairness of the process and has filed a lawsuit in federal court to prevent misspelled ballots being counted for Senator Lisa Murkowski.

The Associated Press reports that a federal court judge has denied Republican Joe Miller’s request for an injunction to stop the counting of incorrectly spelled write-in ballots.

Live coverage of the counting is being streamed online.

The Court has rejected Miller’s request to stop the recount.  The count now shows Murkowski with 98% of the initial write-in vote.

Joe Miller’s prospects for victory are getting slimmer, and the lawyers are starting to leave Alaska.

Alaska election officials have completed the fifth day of counting write-in ballots.  Senator Lisa Murkowski has retained 89% of write-in votes

With almost all votes counted, Senator Lisa Murkowski currently has an edge of over 2,000 votes over Republican Joe Miller.  Murkowski’s total does not include the over 10,000 challenged ballots.

As counting ends, Murkowski is heading back home and is expected to declare victory soon.  8,135 ballots have been challenged, but even if all of those ballots were thrown out by the Court, Murkowski would still be ahead by more than 2,000 votes.

With all but 700 write-in votes counted, Senator Lisa Murkowski has declared victory over Republican candidate Joe Miller.  The AP called the race for Murkowski Wednesday evening.

Joe Miller is asking a federal judge to stop election officials from certifying results declaring Murkowski the winner.  Murkowski leads by about 10,400 votes; Miller has challenged 8,153 of the ballots counted for Murkowski.

A federal judge has granted Joe Miller (R) a temporary injunction preventing election officials from naming Senator Lisa Murkowski the winner.  Miller filed his complaint on the grounds that the counting of misspelled ballots for Murkowski violates state law.  Miller will now bring the issue to state court.

Attorneys for the state of Alaska have asked a judge to decide the case over contested absentee ballots by next week.  The case will be heard Wednesday in state court in Juneau.  Senator Lisa Murkowski is seeking to intervene in the suit.  Her attorneys have said her seniority will be in jeopardy if she is not sworn in when the new Congress meets in January. Continue reading

Weekly Wrap Up

Is World Wrestling Entertainment political advertising?  According to election officials in Connecticut, it is.  They have told poll workers that they can ask voters wearing WWE gear to cover it up, fearing that it could be construed as political advertising for Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon, who is also the former CEO of WWE.  Officials said that McMahon is so closely associated with WWE that the gear could easily be considered a violation of rule banning political campaigning within 75 feet of a polling station.  McMahon’s husband, Vince McMahon, said that this was a violation of WWE fans’ First Amendment rights and would deny them their right to vote.  Connecticut Republicans are also up in arms, with the State Party Chairman calling the action “voter intimidation.” This is not unprecedented, however; a similar rule was in place in California, forbidding voters from wearing “Terminator” gear when Arnold Schwarzenegger was on the ballot.

The 9th Circuit struck down part of Arizona’s voter registration laws on October 27, holding that the provisions of the law requiring proof of citizenship conflicted with the federal law. The federal law only requires that applicants “attest their citizenship under penalty of perjury”, while the 2004 voter-approved initiative in Arizona required applicants to register to vote to show proof of citizenship by providing one of the documents on the approved list. The citizenship requirement was “an additional state hurdle” to registration, something the federal law was trying to prevent. The 9th Circuit appeals panel–which included retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor–did not, however, overturn the requirement that voters show identification at the polls in order to vote. Continue reading

An Amendment for One Man? Connecticut Amends the Citizens’ Election Program

Once again the citizens of the Constitution State are questioning the actions of their politicians.  The bi-partisan ‘Clean Elections’ Act has been amended on party lines and sparked serious debate.  With the upcoming Gubernatorial Election, both parties have much at stake, and immediate changes were necessary in light of the 2nd Circuit’s ruling that a part of the act was unconstitutional.  But with the way these changes were adopted, the citizens of Connecticut are wondering if these adaptations are really just making their ‘Clean Elections’ Act dirty.

The original Citizens Election Program (“CEP”) was established under the ‘Clean Election’ Act’s passing in 2005 during a time of political turmoil in Connecticut.  Governor John Rowland’s 2004 resignation amid controversy regarding inappropriate interactions with state contractors helped to contribute to the bill’s support.  Its passage establishemaloyd public financing for all statewide races, banned contributions from contractors and lobbyists, and was widely considered to be a model system for publicly funded elections.  Currently, Connecticut is also operating a pilot program for public financing of municipal elections, which is the first of its kind among the states.  The CEP has been widely supported from both sides of the aisle in Connecticut and beyond. Continue reading

Not So Fast on the Draw: “Trigger” Funds Provisions Come Under Fire

Campaign finance reformers have spent much of 2010 fighting in the courtroom. Across the nation, campaign finance laws are being challenged in the courts.

Some decisions, like Citizens United, came down from the Supreme Court and affect every election, from the national level on down. But there have also been several court decisions across the country that changed the complexion of local and state primaries and might shape the upcoming November elections. In states as diverse as Kentucky, Washington, and California, federal courts have ruled on spending limits for both individuals and corporations. Some courts have found these limits unconstitutional by following Citizens United; others have upheld the limits, citing interests noted by the Supreme Court in their decision. Continue reading

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