It took more than two months, but the Secretary of the State’s office announced Thursday that about 2,900 residents signed up to vote on Election Day last year in the first election with same-day registration permitted.
The legislature approved Election Day Registration in 2012 and last year’s Nov. 5 municipal elections were the first time the new system was put to the test.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy hailed the program as a success on Nov. 6, but an official tally of how many people registered was not available until Thursday. Av Harris, spokesman for Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, said the delay was the result of inconsistent reporting by town election officials.
Only about half of the states towns — 80 of 169 — reported on election night the number of voters they added to their lists throughout Election Day. Harris said Merrill’s office had to get the new numbers from the remaining towns and then check those numbers against the state’s voter registration database.
“A lot of towns [reported] but a lot didn’t so we had to follow up and then we had to verify,” Harris said. “Sometimes it takes towns time to get used to reporting new information.”
The numbers reported Thursday are estimates by Merrill’s office and part of a report being prepared for the legislature. The report is due on Feb. 1.
According to a press release, New Haven had the highest number of new voters sign up on Nov. 5 with 202 registering to vote that day. New Britain, where 164 voters registered on Election Day, was runner-up.
“Voting is a fundamental American right, and Connecticut’s new Election Day registration law made it possible for almost 3,000 new voters across our state to exercise that right. That is something we can all celebrate,” Merrill said. “The data speaks for itself; Election Day Registration is both popular and reliable, and my office did not receive any reports or complaints of concern as this law was implemented.”