elections

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Local races across the state have caught our eye: from the crowded field running for mayor in Hartford, to the Bridgeport race pitting the incumbent versus a former mayor who went to jail for corruption when in office. This hour on our weekly news roundtable, The Wheelhouse,  we check-in on those races and more news from across the state.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The race for Hartford's mayor is entering its final stretch before the city's Democratic party makes its pick. But even a powerful supporter of Mayor Pedro Segarra said it's increasingly likely that the mayor will lose the nomination to challenger Luke Bronin.   

Updated at 2:30 a.m. ET Monday:

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has resigned. According to The Associated Press: Varoufakis was told shortly after the Greek referendum result that the some eurozone finance ministers and Greece's other creditors would prefer he not attend the ministers' meetings. He issued an announcement on Monday saying the prime minister had judged that his resignation "might help achieve a deal" and that he was leaving the finance ministry for this reason.

Updated at 8:40 p.m. ET Sunday:

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Mayor Pedro Segarra is making his case for reelection this fall. But his fundraising emails still contain some questionable numbers. 

Cliff / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission is asking the Connecticut attorney general's office to enforce in court the panel's subpoena seeking records from the Democratic State Central Committee.

Now that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has made it very clear that she won't be a candidate for president in 2016, some of the Democratic candidates in the race are actively seeking the backing of Warren's supporters.

Bernie Sanders is making a major effort to bring them over to his presidential campaign.

Photo Phiend / Creative Commons

A bill that creates a multi-step process for possibly opening a new tribal casino in Connecticut is heading to the governor, among other bills awaiting action at the Capitol.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Ireland has become the first-ever country to approve same-sex marriage by referendum, voting overwhelmingly to approve it despite opposition from clergy in the heavily Catholic nation, according to official results announced today.

Reuters says in Friday's vote "more than 60 percent of eligible voters cast their ballot, the highest turnout at a referendum there in over two decades."

Earlier, both sides in the debate acknowledged that the "yes" vote had succeeded.

Voters in Ireland are deciding whether the country will amend its constitution to make same-sex marriage legal.

The vote on Friday follows months of debate in the heavily Catholic country. Opinion polls suggest the referendum will pass and Ireland will become the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage in a national vote.

But, as NPR's Ari Shapiro points out, "Polls in this part of the world have been totally wrong in the past.

Updated at 8:21 a.m. ET

After a string of polls that showed a dead heat in the U.K. general elections, last night's contest turned out to be far less surprising.

The Conservatives — led by Prime Minister David Cameron — sailed to an easy victory. According to the BBC, Cameron secured his premiership and his party will govern with a slender majority.

The presidential hopefuls haven't spent much time so far with voters. Instead, they've committed many days to courting the millionaires and billionaires who can fuel a White House bid. And at the same time, activists on the left and right are seeking to redefine political corruption, which they believe this is.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A week after a state court judge ruled against their effort to remove the city's three elected registrars, members of Hartford's city council have voted not to appeal. 

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who recently declared his candidacy for president, is headlining the Connecticut Republican Party's annual fundraising dinner.

State GOP chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. announced Monday that Rubio will keynote the 37th Annual Prescott Bush Awards Dinner. The event is June 4 in Stamford.

Computer security experts have warned for years that some voting machines are vulnerable to attack. And this week, in Virginia, the state Board of Elections decided to impose an immediate ban on touchscreen voting machines used in 20 percent of the state's precincts, because of newly discovered security concerns.

The problems emerged on Election Day last November in Spotsylvania County. The AVS WINVote touchscreen machines used in precinct 302 began to shut down.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A state court judge ruled Tuesday that Hartford's city council does not have the authority to remove its registrars of voters, and the decision comes on the same day that the city council was set to begin its proceedings. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Following a disastrous 2014 election day in Hartford when voters were turned away from the polls, state lawmakers have tried to introduce various fixes to the system. And one of them died Monday afternoon.

Vox Efx / Creative Commons

As Hartford's city council seeks to remove them, all three registrars of voters have filed suit in state court asking a judge to stand in the council's way. And on Wednesday, at least one of them will be before a state court judge asking him for emergency scheduling measures.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

As Hartford's city council gets ready for proceedings to remove its three elected registrars of voters, one of those registrars has filed suit in state court and asked a judge to stop the process.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Following a resounding victory in Tuesday’s election, Benjamin Netanyahu will now serve a fourth term as Israel’s Prime Minister. The win came just a day after Netanyahu announced he would not support the establishment of a Palestinian state, a statement he later clarified in an interview with NPR's Morning Edition.

With nearly all votes counted in elections for the Knesset, Israel's parliament, Benjamin Netanyahu's center-right Likud party has won at least a five-seat victory over its principal rival, the center-left Zionist Union.

Israeli media report Likud has 29 or 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset to the Zionist Union's 24 seats.

Updated at 6:52 p.m.

Exit polls released after the close of voting in Israel's national election show that the race is too close to call.

Israel's Channel 1 and Channel 10 both said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party and Isaac Herzog's Zionist Union secured 27 seats each in the 120-seat Knesset. Channel 2, meanwhile, have Likud 28 seats and the Zionist Union 27. The numbers were published by Haaretz.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Hartford city council has voted to begin the process of removing its three elected registrars of voters.  But attorneys for at least one of the registrars are trying to throw the process off course before it starts.

hjl / Creative Commons

From the Bridgeport ballot shortage of 2010 to fiasco in Hartford this past November, Connecticut’s had its fair share of Election Day mishaps. Now, Secretary of State Denise Merrill is saying enough is enough. She’s introduced a controversial proposal to change the way the state runs its elections. 

This hour, the Secretary of State joins us along with some local and national experts to review that proposal. And later, WNPR’s Jeff Cohen gives us the latest on the Hartford City Council’s efforts to remove its registrars of voters.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Hartford City Council is set to start the process of removing its registrars of voters. This comes just a few months after a disastrous 2014 election in which voters were turned away from the polls. But, now, one of the registrars may ask a state court to stop the proceedings.

Following issues at polling places in Hartford this past Election Day, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill is proposing to scrap Connecticut’s partisan registrar system. But, the ideas are being met with opposition.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is boasting about his record in fundraising emails to potential donors, saying the city's "graduation rates have more than doubled since I took office."

It sounds good. But it's not true. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill wants to change the way Connecticut runs its elections, having one professional registrar oversee elections in each city and town. 

Current state law provides for two registrars in every town: one Republican, one Democrat. But Hartford's failure last year to get all of the polls open in time for voting enraged officials across the state. 

PT Vote / Flickr Creative Commons

Why do we vote the way we do? The easy answer, of course, is that we pick the politician whose values, beliefs and opinions most closely resemble our own. But while that does play a part, there are other, less obvious influences as well.

It turns out that much of why we make the voting decisions we do comes from our subconscious: biases we hold towards things like a candidate's height, weight, looks, tone of voice, and even choice of clothes. Campaigns have known this for years and, with every vote being fiercely sought, have employed a variety of tactics to make their candidate appeal to parts of our psyche we're not even aware of.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Republican legislative leaders held a press conference Thursday to call for changes in the state’s campaign finance laws, though leading Democrats said talking to them first might have been a better strategy. 

Joined by rank and file legislators, Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said state Democrats have consistently worked to undermine and erode the clean elections laws they worked to pass in 2005 after the conviction of former Governor John Rowland.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Oz Griebel runs the MetroHartford Alliance and ran for governor in 2010. Now, he's considering a run for Hartford's city council. 

"I am considering a run, but considering is the operative word," Griebel said.

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