Questions linger about voter registration debacle in New Haven

New Haven

What went wrong in New Haven? That’s the question many woke up asking Wednesday after hundreds of would-be voters waited hours just to register and cast a ballot. Some had to be turned away.   

“I was in line from about 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.,” said University of New Haven student Rushawn Brown. He was among the crowd snaking its way around the City Hall atrium on Election Day.  

“I don’t think the staffing level was appropriate to handle the crowd that was here,” Brown said.

News 8 has learned a skeleton staff and limited computers helped delay the processing of registration applications, but finding out why proved next to impossible for us. That’s because we camped out for several hours at the offices of Democratic Registrar Shannel Evans hoping to get answers. Instead, Evans never showed up, and so far, she hasn’t gotten back to us.

Related Content: Merrill: 68 percent of CT voters submitted ballots

Meanwhile, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill addressed the problems during her news conference. “We need sufficient staffing to take care of it but that’s always a close question because it’s very expensive,” Merrill said.

New Haven had similar problems during the elections of 2014 and 2016. Despite all the drama, Brown said he was determined to be counted.

“I’ll wait however long it’s going to take because I’m here for a reason and if I leave then, I didn’t accomplish what I came to do,” Brown concluded.

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