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Justice Department to Monitor Polling Places in 7 CT Towns


The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division plans to send more than 500 staff members to 67 communities in 28 states to monitor the general election tomorrow, including in seven Connecticut towns. 

\On Election Day, the Civil Rights Division will monitor the election on the ground in the following local communities:


  • East Hartford
  • Farmington
  • Hartford
  • Middletown
  • New Britain
  • Newington
  • West Hartford


State and local governments have primary responsibility for administering elections, but the Civil Rights Division is responsible for enforcing the federal voting rights laws. 

“The bedrock of our democracy is the right to vote, and the Department of Justice works tirelessly to uphold that right not only on Election Day, but every day,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement. “We enforce federal statutes related to voting through a range of activities – including filing our own litigation when the facts warrant, submitting statements of interest in private lawsuits to help explain our understanding of these laws, and providing guidance to election officials and the general public about what these laws mean and what they require.” 

On Election Day, lawyers in the Civil Rights Division’s Voting Section will also staff a hotline. 

The department will gather information on whether voters are subject to different voting qualifications or procedures on the basis of race, color or membership in a language minority group; whether jurisdictions are complying with the minority language provisions of the Voting Rights Act; and whether jurisdictions permit voters to receive assistance by a person of his or her choice if the voter is blind, has a disability or is unable to read or write. 

They will also look into whether jurisdictions provide polling locations and voting systems allowing voters with disabilities to cast a private and independent ballot; whether jurisdictions comply with the voter registration list requirements of the National Voter Registration Act; and whether jurisdictions comply with the provisional ballot requirements of the Help America Vote Act. 

More information about the Voting Rights Act and other federal voting rights laws is available on the Civil Rights Division’s website.  

Complaints related to disruption at a polling place should always be reported immediately to local election officials, including officials in the polling place. Complaints related to violence, threats of violence or intimidation at a polling place should be reported immediately to local police authorities by calling 911.

You can direct complaints to any local U.S. Attorney' Offices, local FBI officers or the public integrity section at 202-514-1412.

The Connecticut Secretary of the State's Office will also staff a hotline for residents to report election fraud or voting rights abuses at 1-866-733-2463 or the State Elections Enforcement Commission at 860-256-2940.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Clinton Ends Campaigning With Raucous NC Rally


Hillary Clinton capped off 18 months of campaigning with a star-studded midnight rally in the crucial battleground state of North Carolina, NBC News reported.

"This election will end but our work together will be just beginning," she said to a deafening crowd at North Carolina State University. "We have to bridge the divides in this country."

Pop star Lady Gaga and New Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi performed before Clinton took the stage. Afterward, President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton spoke briefly to introduce the Democratic nominee.

"She stands before us proud, like a lady," Gaga said. She's ready to be president."

Photo Credit: AP

Trump Tells Final 2016 Rally: 'This Is Our Independence Day'


Donald Trump's final appeal to voters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was a collection of all his major talking points, from promising that Mexico would pay for a border wall to accusing Hillary Clinton of being a liar, NBC News reported.

"We are hours away from a once in a lifetime change," he said as the rally went well into Monday night.

Trump swore an end to Syrian refugees being let into the U.S. and laid the groundwork for "a lot" more visits to the Mitten state as he works to bring jobs and factories back to the state.

Trump declared Tuesday "our Independence Day" and looked forward to closing "the history books on the Clintons and their lies and schemes and corruption."

Photo Credit: AP
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Petition Aims to Change New Quinnipiac University Logo


Students at Quinnipiac University say the school’s logo isn’t grammatically correct and they want the university to take action.

A meeting was scheduled for Monday night to discuss the issue but it didn’t happen. While a petition to change the logo has significant support, the school said the new design is here to stay.

The issue in question is a lower-case letter u in the word university.

“From an aesthetic point of view I am not the biggest fan but that is not my primary concern my primary concern is the standards of English grammar,” said Quinnipiac senior Brett Segelman.

The school introduced the design over the summer. And since then, many students have signed a petition that Segelman started to have the u capitalized. The petition has over 1,100 signatures.

“The response has been explosive we have close to 12 hundred signatures as of today and over 250 comments of outrage and concern,” Segelman said.

He said he feels the new logo isn’t in line with a place of higher education.

“As a senior as a marketing major I care about first impressions, I care about image and I care about the message the school is sending to outsiders,” he told NBC Connecticut.

Other students weren’t as concerned.

“I prefer the old one but it's not really going to make a big impact on my academic education here so it’s fine either way for me,” freshman Logan Reardon said.

But Segelman said he’s not backing down.

Quinnipiac spokesman John Morgan released the following statement on the situation

"As with any change, the new brand identity system will have its detractors, but we also have witnessed overwhelming support for these changes. We have no intentions of looking back, only forward as we work to improve Quinnipiac's stature and visibility in the higher-education community."

The school also said this new brand strategy is a modern interpretation of the past university brand and a representation of who they are today.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

23-Year-Old Killed in Brookfield Crash


A 23-year-old New York man was killed in a crash in Brookfield early Tuesday morning.

Police said the victim, Reed Latrowski of Rockville Centre, New York, was driving on Route 7 south around 3:51 p.m. Investigation suggests that Latrowski lost control of the car, went off the road and struck a tree. The vehicle then rolled over.

No other vehicles were involved.

When emergency crews around on scene they found Latrowski suffering serious trauma. He was pronounced dead on scene by Brookfield Volunteer Ambulance Paramedics.

Route 7 was closed for several hours but has since reopened.

The crash is under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Connecticut State Police Troop A at 203-267-2200.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Top Google Doodles


Since 1998, Google has created more than 2,000 colorful and imaginative doodles to commemorate important holidays and people. Take a look back at some of the most iconic designs from around the world.

Photo Credit: Google

Voter Registration Check-In Concerns


Some voters had issues with their voter registration at the polls Tuesday morning.

There are moderators assigned to every polling location to handle registration questions and work out issues. The Secretary of the State's office also coordinated with the Connecticut Bar Association to make lawyers available to respond to voting related issues if necessary. There are 110 volunteer lawyers on call for Election Day.

At Maple Hill Elementary School in Naugatuck, some residents who thought they were registered to vote through AAA were turned away at the polls.

Registrar Matt Katra confirmed they were aware of several of those reports and those residents were being directed to Town Hall for same-day registration. Katra also said they've also heard from a few people who said they registered with the DMV who were not on the list.

Katra said all the registrations that made it to his office before the deadline were processed, but if AAA or the DMV miss the deadline, there isn't anything voters can do but register day of.

At Rawson Elementary School in Hartford several voters were told they were not on the list. The residents said they had been registered and voting at Rawson for years, but they weren't on the list. The moderator stepped in to try to work out the issue.

In Bristol, voters found their names weren’t listed in the online database of registered voters, and they had to be checked in manually, delaying the process. The Bristol Registrar’s office said the computer database is an auxiliary system and there must be a voter check list on paper according to state statute, and they have stopped using the computer check-in for the time being while they work out the discrepancies.

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters are responding to your concerns at the polls. If you have an issue, contact us at 860-521-3030 or fill out our online form. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Hillary Clinton Casts Her Vote in NY


Crowds cheered Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as she stepped out of her vehicle to cast her vote in a school in her hometown of Chappaqua Tuesday morning.

Photo Credit: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images

Hotline Braces for Voters' Calls on Election Day


An active military member called the Election Protection hotline in Washington, D.C., because a poll worker said he could not vote.

The service member, who is from Arizona but is stationed in Texas, was improperly told he couldn't cast an absentee ballot because he’s out of state. Attorneys volunteering with the hotline explained to the poll worker that the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act grants the service member the right to fill out an absentee ballot in elections for federal offices.

The call was among hundreds fielded on Monday by volunteers at Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan coalition of more than 100 organizations, led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Election Protection's goal to help ensure that voters are able to cast a ballot. The group is active year round, including for the primaries and early voting, but the bulk of calls come on Election Day.

“The volume of call has been fairly intense,” said Kristen Clarke, the Lawyers’ Committee president and executive director. She added that the Election Protection National Command Center and the 12 national and 11 local call centers across the U.S. were bracing for a huge number of calls on Election Day, higher than in 2012. That year, the Election Protection hotline answered 37,000 calls the day before Election Day and 90,000 calls on Election Day from voters in 50 states and D.C., according to the Lawyers’ Committee.

As of 8 a.m. on Tuesday, the main voting issues reported to Election Protection were registration problems, long lines, late poll openings in New York, and machine problems in Virginia.

On Monday, Election Protection received calls from people reporting voter intimidation in Broward County, Florida. Voters said a group was assembled near the Hollywood Branch Library and were acting aggressive toward voters going inside to cast their ballots. One woman said she was inside her car when a group approached and touched her vehicle. She told hotline volunteers she drove away because she felt she could not freely cast her ballot. Clarke said Election Protection contacted local election officials but it was not immediately clear who the group was. Clarke said every complaint of potential voter intimidation raises the possibility that it could impact the rights of many voters.

“We want to ensure that voters are able to cast their ballot free from discrimination and harassment and we most especially want to ensure that some of the calls that have been made for law enforcement to mobilize and for untrained individuals to be on the lookout for problems on election day does not translate into widespread suppression and harassment of voters,” Clarke said. “We want to ensure that all voters are able to participate this election cycle.”

Another issue reported in Florida Monday was voters receiving their absentee ballots late. Voters called the hotline concerned that their vote won’t be counted, according to Clarke.

Over the weekend, voters in Lake County, Indiana, contacted Election Protection about long lines at polling places and officials trying to block people standing in line from voting after the polling site closed.

"Anyone standing in a long line should be allowed to vote if they are in that line at the time the polls close," Clarke explained.

She said Election Protection intervened successfully on Indiana voters’ behalf but long lines have been reported at other locations through the U.S., including in Georgia and North Carolina due to counties cutting down on polling sites.

Clarke added that this is the first presidential election in more than 40 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act with many states passing laws and undertaking other efforts to make voting more difficult.

In Texas, there have been reports of confusion over the state’s voter ID law. A federal appeals court loosened ID rules in July, allowing voters to present alternative documentation such as a voter registration certificate or a utility bill and sign a document affirming a reasonable difficulty in obtaining a photo ID. But voters reported to their early voting sites in Texas only to find outdated information.

Adam Laughton, an associate at Seyfarth Shaw law firm who serves as a call center captain in Houston, Texas, said incorrect printed instructions about the voter ID law were posted in polling places in San Antonio and the hotline has been fielding calls from confused voters and poll workers across the state.

"Poll workers just don’t have the grasp on the final points of the law and how it’s changed or the workaround the court put in place," he said.

Election Protection has ramped up with 1,000 more volunteers this election cycle, while the federal government has cut back on its team of election monitors. As the early voting period came to a close the Election Protection Hotline received more than 75,000 calls during the 2016 election cycle.

The Justice Department announced Monday it will send more than 500 staffers to 28 states on Election Day to monitor the polls, a 35 percent reduction from the number four years ago.

The personnel will be dispatched to 67 jurisdictions to watch for potential civil rights violations, such as discrimination on the basis of race, religion or gender.

Election Protection is a resource for voters in places that may not be covered by DOJ or other monitors. Clarke said the Election Protection National Command Center handles the bulk of calls through the election, and national and local call centers pitch in the day before and on Election Day. 

At one of six national call centers in New York City on Monday, attorney Sara Zablotney was fielding questions from voters in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin who wanted to know what would satisfy voter identification requirements in their state and where their polling places are. Two hours into her morning shift, Zablotney was gearing up for what was expected to be a barrage of voters’ calls and concerns on Election Day.

She was among a group of 30 volunteers working in four shifts at the call center, which was managed by Kirkland & Ellis law firm inside a midtown Manhattan high rise. The call center will have 160 attorneys working in four shifts, beginning at 6:30 a.m. ET. The center is expected to answer thousands of calls by the time it closes at 9:30 p.m. ET.

“It’s a really important project. I think the privilege that we have to be able to vote is a very important thing,” said Zablotney, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis who was volunteering with the hotline for the first time. “So helping people understand when and how to vote is a great service that we can provide.”

Election Protection can be reached at 866-OUR-VOTE (English only), 888-VE-Y-VOTA (English/Spanish) and 888-API-VOTE (English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog).

Photo Credit: Cathy Rainone

Broken Voting Machines Reported at Multiple Locations


It was a rocky start to Election Day at some locations when ballot machines went down at the opening of polls.

The New Britain Registrar’s office confirmed a machine broke at the first ballot at Smalley Academy. Paper ballots were being taken when polls opened at 6 a.m. The votes will be counted manually at the end of the day. Technicians were working to get the machine repaired.

Glastonbury Registrar Lisbeth Becker said they had a machine down at the Nayaug School. Voting went on and the ballots were placed in the auxilary bin.

It is standard practice to have ballots placed in an auxilary bin to be counted at the end of the day if a ballot machine goes down.

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters are looking in to reports of machine issues at other locations as well. Check back for updates.

Willimantic Man Arrested Three Times in One Day


Willimantic police said they arrested a man three times in one day and the third time was because the suspect allegedly attacked an officer.

Jerremy Jimenez, 20, was charged with assault on an officer, disorderly conduct, interfering with an emergency call and violation of conditions of release.

Police said Jimenez was arrested Monday morning around 10:39 a.m. after a family dispute then released on a $1,500 bond. Later the same day he was arrested again on accusations that he returned to the home and created a disturbance.

According to police, Jimenez was taken back to police headquarters after the second arrest. He was arrested again when he attacked an officer in the cell block area, police said.

The officer was not seriously injured and is back on patrol duty after being treated, Lt. Stanley Parizo Jr. said in an email.

Jimenez is being held on a $20,000 and is due in court Tuesday morning.

Photo Credit: Willimantic Police Department

Toblerone's Changing Shape Leaves Candy Fans Bitter


Toblerone is facing a mountain of criticism for changing the shape of its famous triangular candy bars in British stores, a move it blames on rising costs, NBC News reported.

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Consumers in the U.K. noticed they were getting less chocolate in some bars because of bigger gaps between the distinctive chocolate peaks.

Modelez International, the U.S. company that makes the bars, said it was forced to widen the spaces because of "higher costs for numerous ingredients." 

It said bars in the U.K. were being reduced from 14.1 oz to 12.7 oz and 6 oz to 5.3 oz but the size of the packaging remains the same.

Photo Credit: AP
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Reduce Stress With SF Zoo's Red Panda Cam on Election Day


From hyper-local measures to the polarizing presidential race, a number of divisive issues have plenty of voters in a tizzy ahead of Election Day.

The San Francisco Zoo and Firefox have created a stress-reducing solution. The two entities have teamed and are planning to plaster a live stream of red pandas on the search engine's Facebook page, according to the zoo.

Three critters by the names of "Hillary," "Hunter," and "Tenzing" will be on display for viewers to gawk at beginning at 10 a.m. PT, the zoo said.

The fluffy species, which is actually more closely related to raccoons than giant pandas, happened to be referred to by the name "firefox" and "fire-colored cat," according to the zoo.

Photo Credit: Marianne Hale
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Despite Showers Tomorrow, Forecast Still Quite Dry


High pressure will be quite dominate over Connecticut over the next week, with only a few exceptions.

Another sunny day is on tap for Tuesday, when it will be warmer, with temperatures in the 60s.

A cold front sweeps through on Wednesday and a weak area of low pressure will likely form along it.

That means clouds and a few showers are expected, with temperatures in the 50s.

Thursday and Friday both look dry with abundant sunshine. Temperatures will be seasonable, in the middle 50s.

Over the weekend, high pressure will be nearby, but an injection of cloud air could result in a respectable amount of clouds on one of the weekend days.

The Great Lakes are still quite warm, so even the smallest amount of relative cold over the lakes results in lake-effect clouds.

Dead Man Found in Russian Consulate in Manhattan


Police are investigating the mysterious death of a 63-year-old man who was found with head trauma in the Russian Consulate in Manhattan. 

The NYPD says the 63-year-old man was found unconscious in the consulate on East 91st Street shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday. 

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Topless Trump Protesters Escorted Out of NYC Polling Station


Two women, naked from the waist up, burst into a midtown Manhattan polling station early Tuesday, shouting: “Out of our polls, Trump. Out of our polls, Trump!”

The women, identified as Neda Topaloski, a women's rights activist from Quebec, and Jordan Robson, of Spokane, Washington, were soon escorted out of the basement of P.S. 59 at 233 E. 56th Street, where Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is expected to vote later.

The women wore jeans but no tops. One had the word “Trump” near her collarbone and the words “Grab your b---s” scrawled on her belly.

Police charged the two with electioneering (a misdemeanor activity prohibited under New York law that includes wearing badges and signs supporting a candidate to a polling place) and booked them at a local precinct. 

Information on attorneys for the duo wasn't immediately available. 


Some poll workers took the ruckus in stride, barely looking up at the chanting. Other voters turned around from their white booths, trying to see what was going on.

Despite the commotion, the mood in the gymnasium remained mostly calm.

#MyVoteStory: Tell Us Why You Voted


You've put up through an endless election cycle, weighed the pros and cons of the candidates and cast your vote. Now tell us the why: Share your vote story by tweeting or posting on Instagram with the hashtag #MyVoteStory, #IVoted or #VotingSelfie, then search the mosaic above to find yourself.

If you include a photo, be sure to follow your local voting booth selfie laws -- you don't want to wind up like Justin Timberlake, in trouble with the law for doing your civic duty. Voting selfies are illegal in 19 states, and nine other states have ambigious laws. Click here to see what the rules are on your state.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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2 Juveniles Accused in Hamden Burglary


Hamden police arrested two juveniles accused in a commercial burglary in October.

Police allege that the two 15-year-old suspects broke into Millan Affordable Services at 1338 Dixwell Avenue on Oct. 1 and stole electronics and other item. The stolen merchandise was worth around $13,000.

The suspects are both charged with third-degree burglary and second-degree larceny.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

State Police Arrest Parolee on Escape Charge


State police have arrested a man on escape charges after police said he fled the Department of Corrections Parole Division.

Stanton Brown, 28, of Wethersfield, was serving a sentence for second-degree sexual assault on juvenile victim with three years in jail and five years special parole.

On Monday around 7 p.m., troopers from the Troop D Quality of Life Task Force located Brown at a home on Morin Avenue in Danielson and took him into custody. He was taken to Corrigan Correctional Facility where his warrant will be served and bond set.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Long Lines at Some New Haven Polling Places


Staff from the Secretary of the State’s office will be in approximately 20 cities and towns across the state Tuesday to keep things moving on Election Day. A big concern is making sure those who missed last week’s deadline to register to vote do it Tuesday and still have time to cast a ballot.

In 2014, about 100 people in New Haven waited until the last minute to register and never got to vote because they were still waiting in long lines to register when the polls closed.

"It's important for people who are coming in to try to register at the last moment on election day, you must be registered to vote by 8 o clock, doesn't count to just stand in line, and I can't say that often enough because that's some of what happened down there," said Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

The 2012 presidential election saw just under 45,000 in person voters in New Haven and more could turn out Tuesday in this general election with no incumbent.

Long lines are expected throughout the city to register and to vote. At Wilbur Cross High School there were long lines when the polls opened at 6 a.m., but everything appeared to be moving smoothly.

At the Hall of Records the line stretched out the building and around the corner.

The SOTS and workers in New Haven have prepared for those lines, ready to hand out voter cards to residents to help lessen the time they spend waiting.

Unregistered voters can register at City Hall before proceeding to their polling place to cast a vote. Voters must be in line at their polling location by 8 p.m. in order to vote – being in line to register will not count.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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