Talk that voters in Hartford will not be able to vote in the presidential primary on April 24th, is just that, talk. The city must hold a primary for registered Republicans in this overwhelmingly Democratic city. That is the word from Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, who is one of our guests this weekend on Face the State.
The controversy began when the Republican registrar of the city said the primary would be cancelled because of a lack of funding. During the taping of Face the State, Merrill said the city can’t cancel the primary. Registered GOP voters can head to the polls on April 24th.
I asked Merrill about the antiquated system of having two registrars for every city and town in Connecticut. Hartford actually has three! Merrill believes we are the only state with such a system that costs taxpayers big bucks. On Sunday, Merrill will explain why changing the system isn’t exactly easy. What about the fact that taxpayers pick up the tab for the Democratic committee vote this week? Shouldn’t the party pay for that? Merrill agreed.
The Secretary also talked about reforms she wants to make in our state’s elections system, and about Connecticut’s role in choosing a president. Having lived in states like Michigan and New Hampshire where voters have a real say in the primary process, I asked Merrill what can be done to make Connecticut more relevant. Four years ago, our primary was held on February 4th; this year it is 11 weeks later.
UPDATE: Here is the link to the segment that aired March 11, 2012
More on the CT primary: http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/what-about-a-saturday-primary-or-an-earlier-one/