Hartford Voting Guide

On Tuesday, November 6th, as with every election, the polls are expected to be open from 6am-8pm on Election Day.
This year’s ballot question (yes or no) asks whether or not more funds should be appropriated for the massive MDC project. According to The Hartford Votes-Hartford Vota Coalition, the question — in layperson’s terms — reads:

Approval for the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) to appropriate an additional $800 million for Phase 2 of the Clean Water Project, which is being implemented to comply with a Federal consent decree and State consent order requiring the reduction of sewage overflows.  The appropriation is to be financed through grants, loans, and MDC issuance of bonds.

But on MDC literature, it is stated as follows:

Shall the appropriation of an additional $800,000,000, to be financed, in part, by the
issuance of bonds and Clean Water Fund grants and loans, for Phase II of the Metropolitan
District’s combined sewer overflow, sanitary sewer overflow and nitrogen removal programs to decrease levels of pollution in Metropolitan District member towns, the Connecticut River and its tributaries, and Long Island Sound to comply with a consent decree of the United States District Court of the District of Connecticut and a consent order of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, be approved?

Currently, diluted sewage is sent into the Connecticut River and its tributaries. The Clean Water Project will deal with the “approximately 1 billion gallons of combined wastewater and storm water currently released each year to area waterways,” says the MDC. Residents of Bloomfield, East Hartford, Newington, Rocky Hill, West Hartford, Wethersfield and Windsor will also be able to vote on this question.

As for the candidates, voters should have taken responsibility to learn about their options by now; however, one’s choices might seem limited if a person’s total knowledge of the process comes from advertisements, commercials, and phone calls. Besides the choices listed on the ballot, it is possible to write in candidates. The Registrar of Voters is not required to have the names of all candidates listed on the ballot; in other words, it is up to the voter to know the names of write-in candidates when they enter the polling place. The Hartford Votes-Hartford Vota Coalition has provided a list of options:

In addition to the listed candidates for President,  it is possible to write-in Stephen Durham, James E. Harris, Tom Hoefling, Raymond Sizemore, Jill Stein, and Gerald Warner.

Stephen Durham is an openly gay candidate running with the Freedom Socialist Party; his running mate is feminist Christina López.

Tom Hoefling is an America’s Party candidate; this party believes that abortion and euthanasia violate the U.S. Constitution.

Jill Stein, Green Party candidate, is running with Cheri Honkala.

Individuals do not need to vote along party lines. For example, a registered Democrat can vote for a Libertarian candidate if he feels so inclined. Voters can also choose not to vote, either in general or for any position or question. Even if only one choice is provided for a particular seat, there is no obligation to cast a vote for that candidate. While this seems like commonsense, less informed voters are sometimes given misinformation by cheerleaders standing outside of polling places, and worse, by poll workers.

If you are unsure as to whether you are registered or where you can vote, there is now a quick way to confirm this information online through the Secretary of the State website. If you’ve ever been given the runaround by your own Registrar of Voters and had to ascertain your status through another party’s Registrar of Voters, you may find this new method a breath of fresh air.

To know what Assembly District you are in, figure out where you need to vote.

People voting at Liberty Christian Center (23 Vine Street), Grace Lutheran Church (46 Woodland Street), Hartford Seminary (77 Sherman Street), or the United Methodist Church (571 Farmington Avenue) are all in Assembly District 1.
If you are supposed to vote at any of the following, you are in Assembly District 3: United Way (30 Laurel), Burns School (195 Putnam), Parkville Community School (1755 Park Street), or Mary Hooker School (440 Broadview Terrace).

Assembly District 4 includes voters at Bulkeley High School (300 Wethersfield Ave.), The Learning Corridor Commons Building (43 Vernon St.), Dutch Point Community Room (15 Patsy Williams Way), and Hartford Public Library (500 Main St.).

Those voting at the following locations are part of Assembly District 5: Mary Shepard Place Community Room (15 Pavilion St.) and Parker Memorial Community Center (2621 Main St.).

Assembly District 6 includes voters using these polling places: Batchelder School (757 New Britain Ave.), Kennelly School (180 White St.), South End Wellness Center (830 Maple Ave.), and Metzner Center (640 Franklin Ave.).

Everyone else — Northend Senior Center (80 Coventry St.), Rawson School (260 Holcomb St.), Annie Fisher School (280 Plainfield St.), YWCA (135 Broad St.), and House of Restoration Church (1665 Main St.) — is currently in Assembly District 7.

The date for voter registration, for this election, has come and gone; however, if a person turns 18, moves to Hartford, or becomes a citizen after October 30th, but before Election Day, she or he may register to vote by  noon on Monday, November 5, 2012. To register, go to the ground floor of Hartford’s City Hall, located at 550 Main Street.

On Election Day, bring proper identification with you. This can be valid photo identification (like a driver’s license) or a copy of current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other type of government document displaying your name and address.

With any election, it is useful to understand one’s rights. This factsheet is provided by Connecticut’s Secretary of the State: