On Friday, Mayor Segarra announced that what he calls an “independent task force” has been created to review the fire department. This task force includes former fire chiefs — Charles Teale, John Stewart, Nelson Carter, and Edward Casares — and current police chief, James Rovella.
Segarra’s spokesperson said the task force exists “to examine the department’s command structure, its resources, firefighter training and recruitment” and will “review state, federal and board inquiries into the death of Firefighter Kevin Bell.” Recommendations that emerge from this will be made to Segarra and Hartford Fire Department’s Chief Huertas.
The creation of this task force follows a number of HFD problems, from the death of Kevin Bell to the accidental discharge of a firearm to lieutenants brawling at a site, and more. Lots, lots more.
The most serious of those — a firefighter’s loss of life while on the job — occurred in October. Continue reading 'Investigations All Around'»
Day Pitney, LLP and Shipman & Goodwin, LLP have been named as those offering pro-bono legal counsel to the “Committee of Inquiry.” Council President Shawn Wooden, who is employed by Day Pitney, will be sitting on this committee, though a press release issued Wednesday afternoon claims he will be a non-voting member.
Others on this committee to investigate the 2014 Election Day issues: Majority Leader Alex Aponte, Minority Leader Joel Cruz, Jr, Raul de Jesus, Cynthia Jennings, and David MacDonald. All are City Council members. Continue reading 'Committee of Inquiry Formed to Investigate Election Day Problems'»
Days after the polls closed, more election results have been filed.
Some things to notice: Continue reading 'More Elections Results from Hartford'»
Before Mayor Segarra and Councilperson Wooden’s vow to investigate Tuesday’s missing voter lists, there were other complaints filed with the SEEC against the Democratic Registrar of Voters.
In 2013 a complaint was filed against the Office of the Registrars of Voters for failing to record and report votes for registered write-in candidates. These write-in votes were cast at District 5 and 11 polling places. A recount showed that the complete tally of write-in votes was not originally reported.
The Hartford Registrars of Voters were told by the SEEC then to take extra care when recording and transmitting the write-in votes during future elections. That order was issued in February 2014.
A complaint in 2012 against the Democratic Registrar of Voters was dismissed. In that matter, “the Complainant alleges that Marc DiBella submitted five petition pages to the Respondent [HROV] on January 23, 2012, but that the Respondent did not validate and return those pages to the Hartford town clerk until March 6, 2012, the date of the town committee primary.”
The records show that at the time the Registrar of Voters or Town Clerk’s office was not time-stamping documents; the SEEC said that the Town Clerk’s office should begin to better track records of documents, but with insufficient evidence, could not determine if the Democratic Registrar of Voters had actually delayed returning those documents. This matter was dismissed in April 2013.
Also in 2012 Continue reading 'State Elections Enforcement Commission Record of Registrars’ Issues'»
Write-in votes not included, the election results for Hartford have finally been posted to the Connecticut Secretary of the State site. Here they are:
Though Mayor Segarra did not return comment about why the Registrars’ of Voters errors during past elections had not caused deep concern within City Hall, his public relations contact issued a statement today on behalf of both the mayor and Councilperson Wooden, announcing that the duo have “co-sponsored one resolution that will launch an investigation into yesterday’s voting issues and a second that will restructure the office of the Hartford Registrars of Voters.”
Last year voters had the opportunity to weigh in on the Registrars, but as we reported, there was little effort to translate the ballot questions into language accessible to the average resident.
The call for an investigation seems to replicate what is already expected to occur as a complaint is being filed with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.
That is the message posted on the Secretary of the State website this morning. With the antics of missing voter lists, at least one broken machine, and who knows what else, it was not unexpected that Hartford would have nothing to report the morning after the polls closed.
With Hartford’s record for Election Day shenanigans, we will be watching what unfolds today at the polls.
Want to share your experience? Leave a comment below.
Check back here for updates throughout the day.
- 0700: Voters are reporting no voter books at the Hartford Seminary (#4)
- 0700: Voters say they have been turned away from United Methodist (#5)
- 0700: Batchelder School (#15) polling spot has no voter books. Voter turned away. Poll workers not sure how to handle situation; did not have voter sign affidavit. She returned later in day to vote.
- 0720: Tabulation machine not working at Dutch Point (#21) polling place.
- 0730: Missing voting books apparently citywide, being delivered now…90 minutes after polls were officially supposed to open.
- 0800: Woman handing out doughnuts by the entrance of Burns Elementary (#12) saying that Malloy thanks people for their votes.
- 2:30 p.m.: Mayor Segarra says “What happened this morning is inexcusable. While today is about providing everyone the opportunity to cast his or her vote, in the coming days we will be reviewing exactly what happened. Those who are responsible will be held accountable. In the meantime, I support Governor Malloy’s actions in bringing forth a lawsuit to keep our polls open for an additional hour.” When we asked his press contact what Segarra had to say about past issues with the Hartford Registrars of Voters, we received an automated Out of Office reply.
- 3:30 p.m.: There’s testifying happening right now to determine if the polls will remain open an extra hour in Hartford to compensate for 10+ polling places not having voter lists on hand and some not having volunteers offering to have voters sign affidavits so that they could proceed with voting.
- 5:00 p.m.: Still no comment from Mayor Segarra about why he did not declare the Hartford Registrars of Voters’ past actions to be “inexcusable.”
- 5:30 p.m.: Batchelder and United Methodist polling places ordered to remain open until 8:30 p.m. because election officials failed.
- 5:35 p.m.: Judge Carl Schuman asks Secretary of State to investigate fully why these materials were not available on time, noting that “people fought and died” for the “right to vote.” Makes gentle request of media to not report poll results pertaining to these locations until after 8:30 p.m.
- 7:04 p.m.: Complaint to be filed with the SEEC regarding the Hartford Registrar of Voters’ alleged misconduct: