Sluggish primary results raise questions

Published on Thursday, 16 August 2018 13:42
Written by Ryan Curcio

Special to The Herald

NEW BRITAIN - The day after the state’s primary elections, many Connecticut voters were left wondering why only 17 percent of the state’s 719 voting precincts had reported results two hours after the polls had closed.

It wasn’t until late afternoon Wednesday that all 169 municipalities had submitted their results, with one, Woodbury, not doing so until the last few hours.

One explanation could be a change in the way results had to be submitted.

Berlin took a little while to adjust to the new Election Management System that needed to be used by all towns for the first time this year to submit info to the state, one of the registrar of voters there said.

Both Middletown and New Britain also saw a lag in the time it took to gather results from their machines. Both communities reported minor voting machine issues early in the day on Tuesday.

While Connecticut citizens now know the respective winners of the gubernatorial race - Ned Lamont (Democrat) and Bob Stefanowski (Republican) - some are left wondering why it took hours to finalize the results of many of the races. Lamont was the first candidate to be declared the winner and that announcement came early in the night. But as the hours ticked by, the race totals trickled in.

According to Connecticut Secretary of the State election night reporting, Democrats outdistanced Republicans at the ballot box. Officially, 534,440 registered Democrats voted. While on the Republican side, there were 362,057 registered voters who showed up to cast their vote.

For the Democratic primary, there was voter turnout of about 30 %in New Britain; for Republicans, a 32 %turnout.

New Britain Democratic Registrar, Lucian Pawlak, told The Herald that the two hours it took to report the primary results was actually not too long at all. He explained the process: “What happens is that 17 moderators come back from polling places and they have dozens of forms to fill out and equipment to account for. Then they need to come back to the head moderator to report their findings.” Pawlak added, “The results aren’t usually finalized until an hour later than that, by 11, sometimes midnight.”

The Republican Registrar of New Britain, Peter Gostin, echoed Pawlak’s sentiment, expressing that he felt the election tally went as smooth as ever. Gostin said that, “with 17 moderators, it could easily take 10 minutes to go over results with each moderator. 2-2 ½ hours is an excellent time frame to close out an election. The process takes a long time.”

Gostin added that with the November general election approaching, the timing of poll results from Tuesday’s primary have given officials and idea of what to expect going forward.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin, General News, New Britain on Thursday, 16 August 2018 13:42. Updated: Thursday, 16 August 2018 13:44.