NB Politicus

Registrars Move To Re-Locate Two Polling Places For Primary, November Election

Posted in city politics and government, polling, Voting Rights by nbpoliticus on June 19, 2016

By John McNamara

New Britain’s Registrars of Voters are moving to change polling places in Districts 6 and 13 in time for an August 8th Primary and the November 8th Presidential Election.right-to-vote1

Republican Peter Gostin and Democrat Juan Verdu have identified Angelico’s Cafe restaurant on East Main Street to replace the State Armory in Voting District 6 in the 25th Assembly District. Angelico’s is a stone’s throw away from the Armory location which is located at the corner of East Main and Smalley Streets.

In Voting District 13 in the 26th Assembly District the vacant  Holy Cross School (Saint John Paul II) is the proposed site for a new polling station. Registrars have contacted  the parish to use the school property at the corner of Farmington Avenue and Boulevard to replace the HRA (formerly Ben Franklin School) on Clinton Street.

In letters to Angelico’s and Holy Cross Church the registrars have proposed use of the new sites for $500 each for this year’s voting in what appears to be a temporary move

The pending relocations in two of the city’s 15 voting districts follows a March feasibility study on polling locations presented to the Common Council by the Registrars.  The study backed off from a sweeping draft plan  developed by Gostin and supported by Verdu that drew strong opposition and a City Hall protest,  especially over shutting down on-site voting at the Graham and School Apartments where older and minority voters reside. Democrats  argued that radical changes in polling places ahead of the Presidential election would impede voter access.  The feasibility study identified  the State Armory as the most costly of the polling places and cited parking issues at HRA, the city’s community action agency and Head Start center, as reasons for relocation.

The possible moves in this election cycle to Angelico’s in District 6 and Holy Cross (JPII School) for District 13 appear to be less controversial than what was proposed earlier this year. The draft plan, floated under the guise of saving the city money, raised voter suppression concerns because of the impact on locations in the center of the city. The Registrars, backing down from the original draft plan and any immediate changes, recommended “that any actions to merge, consolidate and/or move district lines and polling locations should be delayed until the 2017 election cycle” in their feasibility study. The relocations in District 6 and 13 are proposed for this year but may be extended.

Polling location changes are generally made only when district lines are re-drawn after the 10-year census that will next be implemented after 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CT Capital Report polling: Science of push button survey has skeptics

Posted in polling, state politics by nbpoliticus on October 9, 2010

No question political junkies can’t get enough of polls in the run up to elections. In 2010, Connecticut is seeing an extraordinary amount of polling because of the high stakes U.S. Senate race and an open seat for Governor.

In addition to the well-established Quinnipiac Poll, national outfits such as Rasmussen are measuring voter sentiment in the Nutmeg state in a big way.  These have more than made up for the loss of the Courant/UCONN poll that was Connecticut’s authoritative opinion survey for a long time.

Last week  the news and opinion aggregation site, CT Capitol Report, entered the handicapping for this year’s “horse races” and immediately gave pundits more material to analyze and write about. We can all take heart that the polling is home grown from www.merrimanriver.com.  But do we need more info on the horse races or journalistic attention focused on issues and how candidates are responding to them?

I was among the CT residents phoned by the CT Capitol’s survey that called about the Governor’s race, which the poll ultimately found to be a “dead heat.”  This was a push-button poll wherein a recorded voice asked me a series of questions on my choice for governor and got the vitals on my political identity.  As I dutifully gave the answers of a liberal Democrat I wondered about the efficacy of a survey that did not involve a back and forth with another human being, just required whoever answered the phone to punch in answers if there was enough patience to stay on the line for five minutes or so.

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza discusses the pros and cons of the CT Capitol Report survey methodology in this recent story from the Washington Post’s “The Fix”.

Cillizza suggests voters take CT Capitol Report’s and other automated polls with a grain of salt:

In a standard telephone poll, the interviewer may seek to add another layer of randomness by asking to speak for a specific person in a household, such as whoever most recently celebrated a birthday. Automated polls do not attempt to do that. Establishment pollsters argue that by stripping a level of randomness from the polling process, auto-dial pollsters must more heavily weight their samples to achieve demographic diversity — rendering the results almost meaningless.

The CT Capitol Report polling also told us that the 5th Congressional District is the most anti-Obama and trending Republican of any of CT’s five districts. Too bad towns like New Britain and Meriden will skew these results.


It’s kind of ironic that in the age of dying newspapers and diminished journalism voters–the online ones anyway — may be getting Too Much Information (TMI) that focuses less on the issues and how candidates will address them.


Sources:


 http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/parsing-the-polls/parsing-the-polls-of-auto-dial.html

http://www.ctcapitolreport.com/