By 3:30 p.m. on Election Tuesday, polling locations in Bridgeport, Conn., had begun to run out of ballots. Voters reported waiting more than an hour in some cases until more ballots could be delivered, or until poll workers got the green light to photocopy the ballots.
According to an Associated press article, the city’s Registrar’s office ordered 21,000 ballots for a city that has 69,000 registered voters. The registrar claimed they ordered the amount for the voters who typically show up for elections and she didn’t want to lose money on unused ballots. Why would more voters come out to vote? I mean, it’s not as if Obama held a rally in the city just three days before the election. Oh, wait, he did hold a rally. Guess he stirred up excitement about voting–who would have thought that could happen?
Sadly, we don’t knows how many people left without voting. We don’t know if some people couldn’t make it to vote even with the polling locations kept open an extra two hours. Please tell me this isn’t going to hang a question mark over the heavily contested race for governor? Of course it is. More important, I wonder what were the economic and racial demographics of the polling places that ran out of ballots, given that the city has about 13 percent Latino and about 12 percent Black, and more than 18 percent live under the poverty level. Whose votes were missed? I also wonder this, given the recent GOP ad that encouraged Latinos NOT to vote. Latino votes were key in several races across the country.
Why aren’t people more outraged? Do people understand the value of a vote? When historically only about 30 percent of the registered voters usually come out to vote–as is apparently the case in Bridgeport–I have my doubts.