Voters run into issues on primary election day - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Campaign 2016

Voters run into issues on primary election day

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Voters across the state headed out to the polls on Tuesday for the primary election, but some ran into issues while casting their ballot. (WFSB) Voters across the state headed out to the polls on Tuesday for the primary election, but some ran into issues while casting their ballot. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Voters across the state headed out to the polls on Tuesday for the primary election, but some ran into issues while casting their ballot.

In Hartford there was confusion among some voters after they were handed more than one ballot.

As one voter went to pick a candidate, she noticed it was already done for her.

A man who voted at the United Methodist Church in Hartford took to Facebook, saying “My wife was given a ballot that was already marked in black felt pen for a candidate. I thought we were supposed to pick our own?”

Church worker Jeffrey Hill said he was there when this happened.

“His wife opened up the envelope. There was another ballot in there, she saw a mark on it and they gave her a new ballot and they went off," Hill said.

Secretary of State Denise Merrill said “we did have one report of that and actually was a clerical error. They always test the machines in advance and they probably got one of the test ballots but I believe they immediately got the regular ballot.”

Some voters who headed to the polls couldn't get their hands on a ballot, and that included Anthony Balzano from North Branford.

He was denied, even though he said he changed his party from unaffiliated to Democrat two weeks ago. He even said he went to town hall to get answers.

"Calling different people, running around town, trying to figure out if I could vote in the Democratic primary," Balzano said. 

Turns out, he didn't fill out the right form.

Unaffiliated voters can't vote in the primaries; you need to choose a party. The deadline online was last week, and in person it was noon on Monday.

Officials said there had been some problems on Tuesday in regards to that.

"Today it has been an issue that some people have shown up thinking they can vote but they can't, they're not affiliated with that party," Merrill said. 

Another Hartford resident posted on Facebook saying they were handed two ballots. That person said they gave the extra one back, unmarked.

Merrill said the problems were solved fast. “You know there is always little things like that that happen but as long as it's rectified it's not a problem," Merrill said.

Tuesday was the first time Connecticut held both Democratic and Republican presidential primaries in eight years, so the Secretary of State's Office and the Election Commission knew there would be issues.

"There's a lot to do. It's a long day but we prepare for this in advance and we get everything ready," said Michael Brandi of the Election Commission, known as SEEC, who runs a hotline to handle voting complaints.

On Tuesday, about 200 people called in with issues.

Kenny Adom tried to vote on Tuesday. He changed his party affiliation to Democrat four years ago but a clerical issue seems to have kept his name off the list.

"In other words, my registration to be a Democrat for some reason didn't go through. I couldn't vote," Adom said.

Brandi said that problem isn't unheard of but most complaints stem from people who showed up registered as independent or unaffiliated with a party and tried to vote in the primary.

To follow primary election results, click here.

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