I am leaving Connecticut Local Politics, effective as soon as you finish reading this post, and I wanted to take a second to say goodbye. I’ve been writing for CTLP for more than three years and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. This is a great site that has spawned a vibrant community and I wanted to thank everyone involved, the lurkers, the commenters, the other Front-Pagers, and especially Genghis Conn. I never imagined when I joined up in 2006, the places this site would take me or the people I would meet. I will always be grateful to GC for giving me the opportunity. Hopefully I had some impact, and you enjoyed it as much as I did.
From the Courant’s EDR coverage:
The battle has flared for years, dating back to even before a veto in 2003 by then-Gov. John G. Rowland.
Back in July 2003, Rowland cited the likelihood of fraud as a reason for his veto of the bill that would have permitted Election Day registration for the first time in state history and would have allowed Connecticut to join six other states at the time with similar laws.
Rowland actually was a little more detailed in his reasoning in vetoing EDR in 2003:
The process of registering to vote on Election Day, as proposed, would provide few, if any, safeguards to prevent voter fraud. In addition, the proposed system would undoubtedly result in reliance by the municipalities on the statewide centralized voter registration database, which, at this time, is largely untested.
Connecticut’s centralized voter registration database does not, at this time, contain complete and current voter registration information. Certain municipalities have not yet joined the statewide voter registration system and are in the process of doing so. The election officials in those towns and cities require time to input and transmit accurate, complete and current voter registration information to the statewide centralized voter registration database. Without an accurate, complete, up-to-date and real-time centralized voter registration database, there would be few safeguards in place to prevent an individual, particularly one without a photo identification, from registering and voting in multiple towns on Election Day.
Leaving aside for a second the absurdity of the notion that someone would register and vote in multiple towns on Election Day (given that they either are resigned to get caught for a felony and use their own ID (and keep lying about the address?), or engage in a massive criminal conspiracy to gain multiple IDs in order to, um, change an election by a handful of votes. Awesome.), Rowland’s principal reason for the veto, unnoted by the Courant, has since been addressed. There now is a statewide centralized voter registration database, it now keeps complete and current voter registration information, all municipalities have joined the database, and no election officials are painstakingly transmitting existing voter registrations to the database. Of course, I have no idea if Gov. Rowland would have plucked some other reason to veto this legislation out of the air; hopefully Gov. Rell will not.
On fraud in general, I would point the interested to this post, detailing a five-year full court press on voter fraud by the Bush administration, turning up, whoops!, bupkis. And to the fact that in a quarter of a century of studies of EDR, there is no evidence of an increased level of fraud under the system. And to the experiences of the other EDR states, and the well-documented findings, that fraud is not a byproduct of EDR.
Thanks again everybody, and I’ll see you soon!