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Colleges see big drop in foreign-language enrollment; Kentucky advocates say it's time to bury medical debt; Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access.

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The White House presses for supplemental Ukraine aid. Leaders condemn antisemitic attacks during Gaza ceasefire protests. Despite concerns about the next election, one Arizona legal expert says courts generally side with voters and democracy.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Pressure mounts on CT governor to upgrade election infrastructure

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Wednesday, September 20, 2023   

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled the name 'Erlinghauser' as two words instead of one. (11:24 a.m. MDT, Sept. 20, 2023)


Voting advocacy organizations in Connecticut are calling on Gov. Ned Lamont to ensure the state's election infrastructure is ready for the 2024 presidential election.

The groups, including the ACLU and the League of Women Voters, said too many voting tabulation machines are defective and cause delays at polling stations.

John Erlingheuser, senior advocacy director for AARP Connecticut, said they are outdated and unreliable.

"They don't manufacture them anymore," he explained. "They break down frequently. People are having to get replacement parts for the voting machines on things like eBay."

Erlingheuser pointed out the legislature approved a bill allowing the state to borrow more than $25 million to replace the vote tabulators but Lamont and other members of the State Bond Commission must hold a formal vote to spend the money.

Voting rights groups say Connecticut has made some recent strides in improving access to the ballot, including the recent approval of early voting, and the restoration of voting rights to people on parole.

He noted new tabulator machines are needed to support those accomplishments and handle the volume of voters expected for next year's presidential election.

"We have a pretty good history here in Connecticut," Erlingheuser acknowledged. "This will only enhance that and make people feel more confident that when they cast their ballot it's private, and it will be counted."

Election officials said newer, high-speed machines allow poll workers to quickly process large stacks of ballots or handle absentee ballots, which are often folded when received by a town clerk. The current tabulators often jam when fed folded paper, creating long lines on Election Day and potentially leading to the shutdown of polling sites.

Disclosure: AARP Connecticut contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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