WNPR

In New Haven Voters Face Confusion, Long Lines

Nov 8, 2016
Originally published on November 10, 2016 10:59 am

Some voters waited more than two hours at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven Tuesday morning. That’s because it’s a polling location for both Ward 9 and Ward 10.

The line for Ward 10 voters snaked through the lobby of the school at 11 am this morning.

Warren Supernot of Fair Haven said only one person was there helping to direct voters to stand in the right line to vote for their Ward.

“A lot of people were in the wrong line. I got in the right line, which is Ward 9, because I asked the police officers and they directed me. My daughter was in the wrong line, Ward 10,” Supernot said.

And Ward 10 was a long line. “They’re still waiting,” Supernot said, adding that the lines were just as long for Primary Day.

Keitch Green also waited in line at Wilbur Cross High School. He said he expected the long lines because they are always long at the 10th Ward location. But he says as an African-American voter, he would not miss it.

"My people walked and died for us to have the right to vote. So, I vote. Every election."

Green says the election is a chance to make history and show that America is really equal.

Police officers monitoring the polls estimated the wait had gone down from two-and-a-half hours for people who arrived at 9 am this morning, to about one-and-a-half hours around lunchtime.

Meanwhile lines wrapped around the block at the New Haven Hall of Records, where some voters in the 7th Ward waited more than two hours to cast a ballot this morning.

Rachel Donahue got in line at 8 am and left the polls at 10:30am.

“I’m late for work and my parking has been expired for about 45 minutes so I probably will have a ticket when I get back to my car,” Donahue said.

She also said the workers inside seemed disorganized.

“Honestly and I don’t want to be rude to a lot of people who were working in there, but it seemed like it was a lot of people who hadn’t done this before. There was a lot of hesitation between handing in your ballot or getting your ballot so I think there was a lot of delay that was unnecessary.”

The New Haven Independent reports that the polling location moderator had not shown up to the Hall of Records at 6 am when polls opened. A second moderator arrived at 9 am.

On Thursday Connecticut Connecticut Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill, said her office would work to reduce wait times at the polls.  

She said the lines were due to the large volume of people who turned out to vote.  

“If someone has to wait in line from 6 am till 8 am, and they may have to go to work and they’re not going to be able to hang around.  And that is a problem. I start thinking after about half an hour, maybe 45 minutes, it’s a problem.”

Merrill said 30,000 people took advantage of same day registration. She said she did not anticipate that many people would sign up to vote on Election Day.  

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