Judge Orders CT Polling Places to Extend Hours

A Connecticut superior court judge tonight ordered 12 polling places to extend voting by 2 hours in Bridgeport, CT because several precincts ran out of paper ballots.

Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz reported that only 21,000 ballots were ordered for Bridgeport, despite the fact that there are 70,000 voters in the city.

The Connecticut Democratic Party and the Malloy for Governor campaign made arguments for the extension, with the support of the Secretary of State's office and the City of Bridgeport.

In a statement Secretary Bysiewicz said, "We asked for the court action based on affidavits from some voters who claimed that they waited in line to vote and then went home because they never received their ballot.  We urge those voters to get to the polls if their polling place was affected and cast their ballot before 10:00 p.m.  Due to the confusion on this issue we are grateful that Judge Berger has taken this extraordinary measure to extend voting hours at these twelve polling places so every vote is counted and no one will be disenfranchised."

Replacement ballots were delivered to Bridgeport this evening.

Earlier in the evening, the Connecticut Republican Party filed a complaint with the Secretary of State after receiving reports that voters were being permitted to vote using photocopied ballots.

In Connecticut, when registrars of voters run out of ballots it is proper procedure to photocopy ballots and distribute them as needed.  The photocopied ballots are to be turned in and hand counted.

Chris Healy, a spokesman for the Connecticut Republican Party, tells Fox his concern is with the chain of custody of the photocopied ballots.  Healy reported that Republicans were not allowed to observe the process and requested to know how many ballots were being made and where they were going in order to account for them.

Prior to the ruling, Healy indicated the Republicans would oppose keeping polls open late since photocopied ballots were being made available.

In her statement tonight, Secretary Bysiewicz reported that photocopies were being made, but even the copies could not keep pace with the voter turnout.