GOP: Voter law re­mains bro­ken

The News-Times - - NEWS - By Chris­tine Stu­art

HART­FORD — The House spent three hours Tues­day de­bat­ing a bill that would re­quire hous­ing au­thor­i­ties to give voter reg­is­tra­tion ap­pli­ca­tions to new ap­pli­cants.

The bill even­tu­ally passed

85-58 along party lines, but not be­fore Repub­li­cans sought to amend it.

House Deputy Mi­nor­ity Leader Vin­cent Can­de­lora, R-North Bran­ford, in­tro­duced an amend­ment that would al­low candidates to seek re­lief from the courts if their elec­tion was con­tested.

Candidates are only al­lowed to seek re­dress through the House or the Se­nate, de­pend­ing upon whether they were run­ning to be a rep­re­sen­ta­tive or sen­a­tor.

Repub­li­cans are up­set that the botched elec­tion in the

120th District is un­set­tled. The House has yet to vote on whether to over­turn the elec­tion or de­ter­mine whether state Rep. Phil Young, D-Strat­ford, was prop­erly seated. An au­dit found 76 vot­ers were given the wrong bal­lot at one of the polling places and Repub­li­cans be­lieve there should be a new elec­tion. The Repub­li­can can­di­date in that district, Jim Fee­han, lost by 13 votes.

Fee­han went to court to chal­lenge the de­ci­sion, but the courts found it was up to the House to de­ter­mine the elec­tion re­sults.

“I think it’s a trav­esty to the elec­tion process,” Can­de­lora said. “Be­fore we keep putting forth elec­tion laws in these cham­bers the first thing we should be do­ing is mak­ing sure the in­tegrity of a par­tic­u­lar elec­tion is up­held.” The amend­ment failed along party lines.

Asked what hap­pened and why such a seem­ingly small piece of leg­is­la­tion took so long to de­bate, House Speaker Joe Ares­i­mow­icz said he felt peo­ple were “stretch­ing their mus­cles and their voices.”

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