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Ballot Troubles Divide Pols

Few people would know more about elections than Rick McQuaid and Marc Bradley. Yet their reaction to Tuesday's voting problems in Bridgeport were very different.

McQuaid, a Republican City Councilman, was disgusted. Bradley, Norwalk Democratic Town Chair, admitted there were problems but was impressed by the turnout and thinks the situation was resolved fairly.

"Those things in this present day shouldn't happen," said McQuaid, who served as a moderator Tuesday for District 137c. " We've tried to make it easier for people to vote by the new tabulators and the new system and making it simple for people who are just bumbling in, and then the people you leave in charge of it don't take it as seriously I guess. I thought it was a little depressing too to find out that the person who made the big errors gets reelected on the same night. They should almost resign at this point."

Bradley was more forgiving. "Clearly there was a mistake in the number of ballots printed and being prepared for the day," he said. "But that said, it was an incredible turnout, and to see that many folks come out and support the Democratic candidates pretty much across the board speaks a lot to the message that's out there for the Democrats in Connecticut and where we want to go as a state."

McQuaid was also impressed at the turnout. And both agreed that elections are vital and expressed concern that voters will lose faith that taking the time to cast a ballot is worth it. But Bradley thought any suggestion of a conspiracy was "laughable," while McQuaid thought it had merit.

"They may have something this time," McQuaid said. "If I was a candidate ... I would really have to think what would be my next step I would take to make sure everything was done the right way."

Bradley thought the vote numbers made sense. "If you look at the numbers in the major cities, including Norwalk, overwhelmingly the voters came out in support of Democrats. All said and done, Malloy was ahead by over 5,000 votes. This wasn't a two- or three-vote difference like in Florida a few years ago."

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