President Obama on Colin McEnroe Show: "Don't Be Discouraged, Hartford"

Nov 4, 2014

Democrats are working hard to get out the vote across the country, and that now includes a call-in from President Barack Obama to WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show

Beyond the typical "get out the vote" message aimed at inspiring Democrats during what is generally the sleepy midterm election cycle, Obama addressed an unfolding issue in the city of Hartford, where voters were turned away at the polls this morning because voter lists had not been delivered.

"If people were planning to vote before going to work, and they weren't able to do it, that's frustrating," Obama said. "I want to encourage everyone who is listening not to be deterred by what was obviously an inconvenience."

Obama said more people have had the opportunity to vote with each successive generation, but not everyone takes the opportunity. Listing a number of socio-economic concerns, like health care, jobs, and young people going to college, he said, "All those things are based on decisions of people who were sent to Washington, and better decisions result in change on the ground. If you opt out, then you're giving up your voice in not just your future, but your kids' futures."

The campaign of Governor Dan Malloy has asked a judge to extend voting in Hartford by one hour. At least nine city polling places were turning voters away, and the problem has been called "widespread."

"Don't be discouraged, Hartford, if you had some problems this morning," Obama told WNPR listeners. "Please go vote. Do not give away your power. Do not buy into the notion that it doesn't make a difference. It really does."

McEnroe asked Obama if a court order adding time to the polls in Hartford shows that the democratic system is working.

"We should make it as easy as possible for as many people as possible to vote," Obama said. Listen to his full comments below:

The President came to Bridgeport in support of Malloy this Sunday, part of a nationwide effort to help Democrats in tight races.