Category: elections

Registrars of Voters Told to Be More Careful

By , March 25, 2014 12:36 pm

The State Elections Enforcement Commission finally ruled on a complaint regarding the 2012 election in which several Hartford residents claimed that votes had failed to be recorded and registered, specifically, votes for third party presidential candidates Jill Stein and Stephen Durham.

During the investigation, the citywide recount resulted in an amendment of returns in districts 5 (United Methodist Church on Farmington Avenue) and 11 (United Way on Laurel Street). Continue reading 'Registrars of Voters Told to Be More Careful'»

Gangway! New Political Party On Board

By , January 8, 2014 2:01 pm

Connecticut Pirate Party rally logo // enjoy the translation of that

The captain is elected. The crew, Michael Fryar tells me, covers a wide range of folks. There are female pirates. You know, because equality.

If The Pirate Party seems outlandish, remember that there are individuals who believe it is legitimate to run public schools like businesses. With that perspective, this rising party seems downright logical.

Already, the party has a candidate — to be announced later — it plans to endorse in the next campaign for Connecticut State Senate, 1st District seat. The Pirate Party will have a full slate in Hartford for 2016. This includes three City Councilpersons, a Justice of the Peace, and other candidates. Those candidates will be announced in a year, but none have run for political office previously. Fryar, who has announced his run for mayor, says this is also about having fun. The Republicans and Democrats are not fun, he says. Continue reading 'Gangway! New Political Party On Board'»

Snarled Process Offers Results Days Later

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By , November 11, 2013 5:18 pm

Between the low voter turnout and the small number of ballot items — three ballot questions and four Board of Education spots to fill — one would expect that Hartford’s results would have been among the first returned to the Connecticut Secretary of the State.

Hartford 2013 Election Results (Official)


Following the election, the voting process in Hartford has received sharp criticism from the Courant on more than one occasion. Last week we reported how one resident needed to make multiple stops in different parts of town in order to vote. We continue to hear more from voters who had less than ideal experiences on Election Day.

Voters had reported that the several pages of text required to understand the ballot questions had been missing on Tuesday morning. Some places received these documents hours after the polls had been open. One resident who knew of this issue did not get to vote until early evening, around 5pm. Frank Gordón-Quiroga, whose polling place is at the Hartford Public Library, said the explanatory materials were present, but on the corner of a table. Continue reading 'Snarled Process Offers Results Days Later'»

Unofficial Election Results Show No Surprises

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By , November 6, 2013 9:01 am

In the lead up to most elections in Hartford, various entities — libraries, churches, etc. –  provide opportunities for citizens to learn more about the candidates and the issues. This year was marked by an initial absence of forums based on the assumption that four candidates running for four spaces means that there is no contest, and possibly, no reason to learn about the candidates. Real Hartford has gotten reports of voters being told they had to vote for four Board of Education candidates when the truth is that a person could vote for anywhere from zero to four candidates.

When it came time to understanding the ballot questions, even less effort went into translating the legalese into standard American English. The one public forum we heard of which was designed to explain these complicated questions was poorly promoted; the event was not listed on the venue’s website. We received reports yesterday that a person working at City Hall was allegedly part of the problem of misinformation. Few knew that ‘yes’ votes on two of the ballot questions would change nothing unless the State changed policy or essentially granted permission for the city to move forward on those items.

So, with the relative absence of information combined with voters who admitted to not doing their homework, there’s no surprise that voter turnout was astoundingly low, or that there was no consensus across districts on the ballot questions, according to the unofficial election results:

Unofficial Election Results in Hartford 2013

The unofficial numbers show some districts being on the fence. Continue reading 'Unofficial Election Results Show No Surprises'»

How Many Trips Does It Take to Vote in Hartford?

By , November 5, 2013 4:48 pm

Would we even recognize Election Day in Hartford if it weren’t for the near-ritual of shenanigans?

As of mid-afternoon, CT News Junkie reported a low, even by our standards, voter turnout of 2.2% in the city. This number may deceive one into believing that each voter’s experience would be positive, as there’d be no rushing folks away from the voting tables and out the door. Continue reading 'How Many Trips Does It Take to Vote in Hartford?'»

November 2013 Events

By , October 30, 2013 6:37 pm

There are events not included on this list because organizations have not released final details yet. That is to say, you have even more to choose from than what is posted here.
November 1

  • Maybe it’s not the most exciting thing, but small business owners might benefit from a free morning workshop that teaches how to navigate and search for federal, state, and municipal bids. This means potentially freeing you up so that you have more time to spend on, well, those exciting things you’d rather be doing. The workshop begins at 9:30 and ends at noon. This will take place at the Entrepreneurial Center; register online.
  • Let The Fire Burn begins screening at Real Art Ways. This documentary centers on the bombing of MOVE in Philly. Contact Real Art Ways for exact show times and ticket prices.
  • Hannah Sims and Pedro Bermudez will be on hand for the launch of Hartford River Dreams, a film series. Screening begins at 7:30pm at the Carriage House Theater, 360 Farmington Avenue. $10 at door.
  • The Witching Hour will be performed by the Ensemble of the Judy Dworin Performance Project. They describe this as follows: “The Witching Hour, an award-winning dance/theater piece, brings Connecticut’s 17th century witch craze to life through the untold stories of women who were accused, tried and convicted as witches. Bridging the gap between the 17th and 21st centuries, The Witching Hour lyrically and evocatively explores what happens in communities when difference becomes dangerous, and folk culture–as practiced by herbalists, midwives, women landowners, and indentured servants–clashes with Puritan hierarchical authority.” This begins at 7:30pm in the Wadsworth Atheneum.  Ticket prices vary on this one.
  • On the first Friday of each month, the Kabbalah House hosts a free, all-ages open mic from 9pm-1am. The Kabbalah House is located at 1023 Albany Avenue.
  • Another option for the grown folks: Pontani Sisters Burlesque-a-pades at Black-Eyed Sally’s. Contact the venue for ticket info. Performance begins at 9pm.

November 2

  • Free admission to the museum galleries at the Connecticut Historical Society today from 9-5. There will be activities for children including a visit by storyteller Sharon Lynch (1-2pm). Check out Through a Different Lens: Three Connecticut Women Photographers and photography contest entries while you are here.
  • Learn about Women and Mass Incarceration in the Youth Program Room at the Hartford Public Library today at 1pm. Beatrice Codianni, a former member of the Latin Kings, and Dr. Sandra Enos, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Bryant University, will be the featured speakers.
  • At 7pm the Avodah Dance Ensemble will be performing A Way In, exploring themes of beauty, truth, love, and God. Ticket prices vary for this event at the Charter Oak Cultural Center.
  • Celebrate two years of the Dirt Salon at the Dirt Flirt from 7:30-11:30 this evening. Ada Pasternak & Milksop-Unsung will be providing the music. Several artists’ works will be on display. The Night Fall skeleton dance will be performed. This is a pay-what-you-can event. The Dirt Salon is located at 50 Bartholomew Avenue. Continue reading 'November 2013 Events'»

On the Ballot

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By , October 8, 2013 6:00 am

The last attempt to revise Hartford’s Charter went nowhere due to the proverbial ball being dropped, but this time the proposed changes will make it onto the November ballots so citizens can approve or reject.

This time around the group “was a pretty functional body,” Brendan Mahoney, one of the Charter Revision Commissioners said. “There was no grandstanding.

The flaw in this system is having voters — mostly not lawyers — vote on changes written in legalese. The first time many will encounter these questions will be at the polls. The questions you will find on November’s ballot will read as follows:


What does all this mean? Continue reading 'On the Ballot'»

Meet Hartford’s Board of Education Candidates, 2013

By , September 26, 2013 4:09 pm

Hartford’s Board of Education consists of four individuals who are elected by voters and five individuals who are appointed by the mayor. There are currently only four people running for the four open positions this year. Barring a write-in candidate or someone quitting his or her campaign, we know who will be filling those vacancies.

The nature of this campaign season is not reason to tune out. Knowing where candidates are coming from and where they stand on the issues helps residents get a sense of what to expect over the next few years.

One of the tasks before this new school board will be to select a superintendent who will manage the public schools and implement the educational interests and laws of the State of Connecticut. The ongoing clashing between the current superintendent and Board of Education highlights the importance of selecting and electing individuals who can work well with others while upholding their responsibilities and maintaining professionalism.

After the superintendent is chosen, the Board of Education will routinely evaluate the superintendent to ensure she or he is managing the schools as required by law.

The school board will also need to pass a financial budget that complies with state law.

And, what we typically see the Board of Education doing, is fulfilling its responsibility to create and modify policies for the operation of the schools.

To have any measure of success, everyone on the Board has to be on board with meeting these responsibilities.

Real Hartford asked the four Board of Education candidates — Mike Brescia, Robert Cotto, Jr., Beth Parker, and Craig Stallings — a series of questions to gauge their perspectives, experience, and dedication.

In what ways do you support public education?

Mike Brescia, endorsed Democrat. Lives in the South West neighborhood

MB: I was a teacher for a long time, so I was supporting it from the inside. I taught in secondary schools only, though I was certified from k-12. I’m still certified. I taught reading, math, and science. I’m all in favor of public education. One of the reasons I think that you don’t get many teachers on the board is that they can’t teach and be on the board at the same time [for the same district].

RC: Over the past four years, I have been a leading voice on the Hartford Board of Education for equal educational opportunities for all children in our public schools. Our public schools must help children learn to become engaged, productive, and healthy adults. To accomplish that goal, I have used my office to advocate for schools that offer a rich, broad curriculum for all students, sufficient resources for all schools, and collaboration with teachers and parents for school improvement. Across the state, I have protested the inappropriate use of tests to judge schools and award bonuses, excessive disciplinary practices, increasing racial and ethnic isolation, and the privatization of schools.

BP: I believe that a high quality public education system is essential to the health and economic vitality of a municipality. I am a product of public school education and am running for the Hartford Board of Education because I am committed to a rigorous public school education in which resources of parents, community members and corporate partners are directed synergistically to improve, support and enhance public school education.

CS: I believe that all children have a right to an education. The public school system is the only way to make sure children are given that opportunity. Continue reading 'Meet Hartford’s Board of Education Candidates, 2013'»

Working Families Party Endorses Cotto Second Time for Board of Education

By , September 20, 2013 6:00 am

Robert Cotto began his campaign for re-election to the Board of Education with a fundraiser at the Red Rock Tavern on Thursday night. He has been endorsed again by the Working Families Party. Cotto has worked as a teacher and is currently a researcher for CT Voices for Children. Continue reading 'Working Families Party Endorses Cotto Second Time for Board of Education'»

It’s August. Did Your Vote Get Counted?

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By , August 5, 2013 12:59 pm

Back in March, Real Hartford reported that Hartford voters were beginning to file complaints after noticing that not all write-in votes appeared to be counted. Later that month, the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) voted to authorize an investigation into these complaints.

Hartford was not the only municipality in Connecticut where voters complained about officials’ handling of the November 2012 election, but it is the only one of the six that still has not complied with the SEEC’s requests for information on votes allegedly not counted, say individuals close to the investigation. Continue reading 'It’s August. Did Your Vote Get Counted?'»

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