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STATE ELECTIONS ENFORCEMENT COMMISSION Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut (ROVAC) Conference Cromwell, Connecticut April 14, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "STATE ELECTIONS ENFORCEMENT COMMISSION Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut (ROVAC) Conference Cromwell, Connecticut April 14, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

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2 STATE ELECTIONS ENFORCEMENT COMMISSION Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut (ROVAC) Conference Cromwell, Connecticut April 14, 2010

3 Composition of Commission Bipartisan Bipartisan 5 Members 5 Members 2 Republicans 2 Republicans 2 Democrats 2 Democrats 1 Unaffiliated 1 Unaffiliated 5 year terms 5 year terms Restrictions on Political Activities Restrictions on Political Activities Decide Policy, Cases and Grant applications Decide Policy, Cases and Grant applications

4 Duties and Responsibilities of Staff Investigations and Civil Enforcement Investigations and Civil Enforcement Audits and Disclosure Audits and Disclosure Compliance Advice/Legal Opinions Compliance Advice/Legal Opinions Declaratory Rulings Declaratory Rulings Public Education Public Education Legislative Recommendations Legislative Recommendations Distinction Between SEEC and SOTS Distinction Between SEEC and SOTS

5 Comprehensive Campaign Finance Reform (Oct. 25 Spec. Sess. Public Act 05-5) Public Financing Program for Statewide and General Assembly Candidates Public Financing Program for Statewide and General Assembly Candidates State Contractor Contribution and Solicitation ban State Contractor Contribution and Solicitation ban Lobbyist Contribution and Solicitation ban Lobbyist Contribution and Solicitation ban New Contribution Limits for Party, PAC and Candidate Committees New Contribution Limits for Party, PAC and Candidate Committees Filing Repository moved to SEEC from SOTS Filing Repository moved to SEEC from SOTS Development of New Electronic Campaign Finance Information Reporting System Development of New Electronic Campaign Finance Information Reporting System

6 Citizens’ Election Program Applicable to General Assembly Campaigns and Statewide Office Campaigns

7 SEEC Campaign Finance Registration & Reporting Forms

8 New Electronic Campaign Reporting Information System (eCRIS) Now available Now available Searchable database Searchable database Redesigned forms Redesigned forms User friendly User friendly All SOTS campaign finance filings with SEEC since 2007 All SOTS campaign finance filings with SEEC since 2007

9 Registrars Have Important Responsibilities

10 Voter Registry Voter Registry Compilation and Maintenance of Voter Registry and Enrollment Lists

11 Suitability and Accessibility of Polling Places

12 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Computerized statewide registry list Computerized statewide registry list New voting machines New voting machines Accessible voting machines Accessible voting machines Provisional ballots Provisional ballots

13 Appointment and Training of Pollworkers

14 Voting Machine Preparation

15 Supervision of Absentee Voting at Nursing Homes ?

16 Communication is Key Consult with Each Other on Important Issues

17 non-adversarial setting non-adversarial setting learn more about each other’s roles learn more about each other’s roles discuss how to improve process discuss how to improve process Conference

18 Teach Through Actual Examples Privacy cases HAVA complaints Voter fraud

19 directly elect our leaders one man, one vote The Right to Vote is a Fundamental Constitutional Right

20 “For Some, A Hard Fought Right”

21 Your Actions Can Effect The Outcome of an Election

22 Most Elections Are a Success

23 Complaints Are Filed When People Are Unhappy State Elections Enforcement Commission

24 How to Avoid a Complaint… and what to do if one is filed Deal fairly and openly with all candidates, electors and applicants Deal fairly and openly with all candidates, electors and applicants If a complaint is filed, cooperate with the attorney or investigator If a complaint is filed, cooperate with the attorney or investigator

25 Non-partisan in Practice Leave your party hat at the door Leave your party hat at the door Be a non-partisan election official in your office Be a non-partisan election official in your office

26 Minor Party and Petitioning Candidates Do not have representation in your office Do not have representation in your office Fertile sources of complaints against Registrars Fertile sources of complaints against Registrars May be increased petitioning due to the Citizens Election Program May be increased petitioning due to the Citizens Election Program

27 Read, Listen and Follow the Advice of the Secretary of the State’s Office

28 Read Your Mail

29 Case Examples

30 VOTER HISTORY Section 9-50b requires that Registrars update voter history on CVRS “forthwith” after an election Section 9-50b requires that Registrars update voter history on CVRS “forthwith” after an election Commission case - One year and responsive to a complaint is not “forthwith” - VIOLATION Commission case - One year and responsive to a complaint is not “forthwith” - VIOLATION Pending legislation – 60 days Pending legislation – 60 days

31 PRIVATE AND INDEPENDENT VOTING Right to Privacy is Constitutional, but the Commission can only enforce statutory rights Right to Privacy is Constitutional, but the Commission can only enforce statutory rights Voter’s Bill of Rights (9- 236b) creates statutory right to vote privately and independently, regardless of disability Voter’s Bill of Rights (9- 236b) creates statutory right to vote privately and independently, regardless of disability

32 §9-262 During the entire period of an election, at least one of the election officials shall be stationed approximately three to four feet from the voting tabulator to regulate the submission of the elector’s ballot... [N]o election official shall remain or permit any person to remain in any position or near any position that would permit him to see or ascertain how an elector votes.

33 Privacy and Tabulator Tenders Tabulator tenders must be stationed at least three to four feet from the voting tabulator to regulate the submission of the elector’s ballot. Tabulator tenders must not remain within less than three feet of the voting tabulator while electors insert their ballots to avoid being in a position that permits them to see or ascertain how an elector voted, pursuant to C.G.S. §9-262.

34 Privacy Sleeves and Election Officials Privacy sleeves must be provided by the Registrars of Voters to the moderator. Ballot clerk must issue privacy sleeve with ballot.

35 AVS Required in Elections & Primaries Attorney General’s opinion that pursuant to HAVA and Section 9-236b the AVS is required in federal and municipal elections. Attorney General’s opinion that pursuant to HAVA and Section 9-236b the AVS is required in federal and municipal elections. Commission found that AVS required in primaries too. Commission found that AVS required in primaries too. One Registrar did not set up for primary, but because no voter came forward, case dismissed. One Registrar did not set up for primary, but because no voter came forward, case dismissed. LESSON: If you don’t set up AVS you are taking your chances. If one voter shows up to use it – violation. LESSON: If you don’t set up AVS you are taking your chances. If one voter shows up to use it – violation. ADVICE: Set it up ADVICE: Set it up

36 AVS and Section 9-236b Voters have the right to vote privately and independently. General Statutes 9-236b. Voters have the right to vote privately and independently. General Statutes 9-236b. Only statute or regulation applicable to AVS machines Only statute or regulation applicable to AVS machines So, a voter, who it took more than four hours to vote, but finally voted…..no remedy So, a voter, who it took more than four hours to vote, but finally voted…..no remedy Second case, 45 minutes to vote… no remedy Second case, 45 minutes to vote… no remedy If voter in your town NOT so PERSISTENT…POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF 9-236b If voter in your town NOT so PERSISTENT…POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF 9-236b Possible legislative solution - Amend 9-247 Possible legislative solution - Amend 9-247

37 TWO SYSTEMS IN EACH POLLING PLACE Optical Scan Optical Scan AVS AVS Any voter could use either system Any voter could use either system

38 HELPFUL HINTS ON AVS Explain the process to the voter Explain the process to the voter Orient the voter to where the equipment is, then explain to the voter that you need to dial the code for him or her, then you will leave Orient the voter to where the equipment is, then explain to the voter that you need to dial the code for him or her, then you will leave LEAVE!!! LEAVE!!! Do not HOVER – private and independent Do not HOVER – private and independent DO NOT PICK UP THE PHONE (yes someone really did that) DO NOT PICK UP THE PHONE (yes someone really did that)

39 Accessible Vote by Phone System (AVS) Accessible Vote by Phone System (AVS) DODON’T Attend training on how to operate the system and know how to troubleshoot Pick up the fax phone when it is ringing or otherwise make voting difficult Have the appropriate equipment and instructions during voting hours – make sure it’s properly connected Pull the ballot off the fax until all sheets have printed Assist a voter if requested Impose your presence on the voter Allow a voter to cast a ballot independently and in privacy Set up the AVS in a place that does not feel private

40 Where the AVS is utilized by a single elector in a polling place, the secrecy of the ballot may be compromised because such votes are tallied separately on the moderator's return. Election officials should encourage (but cannot require) other electors and polling place officials to use the AVS to assure multiple votes on the tally. Privacy and Accessible Vote-by Phone System (AVS)

41 Unidentified Candidate Checker No unidentified person should be permitted to be or remain in a polling place No unidentified person should be permitted to be or remain in a polling place Candidate checkers may be suggested by candidates in a primary, but must be designated by Registrar and be an elector in the town holding the primary (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-436a) Candidate checkers may be suggested by candidates in a primary, but must be designated by Registrar and be an elector in the town holding the primary (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-436a) Substitutions okay, but still need designation in writing or recorded by the moderator Substitutions okay, but still need designation in writing or recorded by the moderator Credible allegation that an unidentified candidate checker, who came in as a substitute, advocated in Spanish for a candidate, in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-236 Credible allegation that an unidentified candidate checker, who came in as a substitute, advocated in Spanish for a candidate, in violation of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-236 Individual could not be identified and case had to be dismissed Individual could not be identified and case had to be dismissed

42 News Media in Polling Places Must be allowed in to observe, which includes taking pictures or video, pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 9-236. Moderator must ensure that no photographs are taken of individual ballots

43 Public May Observe Canvas Conn. Gen. Stat. 9-308 provides: Conn. Gen. Stat. 9-308 provides: …canvas shall be made in plain view of the public… …No person shall close or cause to be closed the main entrance to the room in which such canvas is conducted, in such manner as to prevent ingress or egress thereby….

44 Its a Registrar’s Duty to Instruct Polling Officials Elections ROV

45 Polls Must Be Open On Time

46 Petition Deadline Hours 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Required Office Hours Regular Office Hours Monday and Tuesday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

47 Petition Rejection Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-410(c) requires the Registrar to reject a primary petition in certain instances Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-410(c) requires the Registrar to reject a primary petition in certain instances Busy primary, but a registrar approved a petition where the circulator who signed (Section D) did not match the individual the registrar certified was an elector (Section C) Busy primary, but a registrar approved a petition where the circulator who signed (Section D) did not match the individual the registrar certified was an elector (Section C) Should have rejected petition Should have rejected petition

48 ROV Petition Approval The Registrar portion certifying that circulator is an elector must be completed at the time of submission. The Registrar portion certifying that circulator is an elector must be completed at the time of submission. NOT two days later NOT two days later

49 Fraudulent Petitions Three individuals who signed as circulators did not actually witness petition signatures Three individuals who signed as circulators did not actually witness petition signatures SEEC referred for criminal prosecution SEEC referred for criminal prosecution No prosecution No prosecution SEEC civil enforcement $2,000 fines SEEC civil enforcement $2,000 fines

50 PETITION CASE Referred by SOTS – 2006 election Referred by SOTS – 2006 election Candidate for Congress wrote all the petitions out by himself Candidate for Congress wrote all the petitions out by himself Commission established by forensic analysis, and referred for criminal prosecution Commission established by forensic analysis, and referred for criminal prosecution Criminal process went as far as possible – but he moved out of state Criminal process went as far as possible – but he moved out of state

51 Cases Without Merit are Dismissed DISMISSED

52 Registrars as Complainant Our local eyes and ears Our local eyes and ears

53 Voter Registration Applications and U.S. Citizenship Registrars of Voters may provide voter registration and United States Citizenship services. Registrars of Voters may provide voter registration and United States Citizenship services. Individuals must be a United States citizen at the time he/she swears or affirms U.S. citizenship when completing a voter registration card. Individuals must be a United States citizen at the time he/she swears or affirms U.S. citizenship when completing a voter registration card.

54 Double Voting No individual may vote for candidates or be registered to vote for candidates at more than one location at a time. No individual may vote for candidates or be registered to vote for candidates at more than one location at a time. Non-resident electors may be entitled to vote on referenda concerning tax issues as property owners, if town permits such participation. Non-resident electors may be entitled to vote on referenda concerning tax issues as property owners, if town permits such participation.

55 Bona Fide Residence Must be a bona fide resident of a town to be an elector. Must be a bona fide resident of a town to be an elector. Bona fide residence= domicile. Bona fide residence= domicile. Domicile= true, fixed, and principal home to which an individual, whenever transiently relocated, has a genuine intent to return. Domicile= true, fixed, and principal home to which an individual, whenever transiently relocated, has a genuine intent to return. Property falls between two towns= the location of the dwelling unit (actual home) is significant. Property falls between two towns= the location of the dwelling unit (actual home) is significant. Conn. Gen. Stat. 9-31 appeals Conn. Gen. Stat. 9-31 l appeals

56 Bona fide Residence case Absentee ballot application from individual Absentee ballot application from individual Prior canvas showed had moved out of town and placed on inactive Prior canvas showed had moved out of town and placed on inactive Individual affirmed still lived in town, yet mail returned Individual affirmed still lived in town, yet mail returned Individual lived in New York (deadline to vote had not passed), lied to Registrar, and said he still lived in Connecticut Individual lived in New York (deadline to vote had not passed), lied to Registrar, and said he still lived in Connecticut Ballot cast and counted Ballot cast and counted Second confirmation returned Second confirmation returned Registrar filed complaint Registrar filed complaint Violations of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-23g, 9-140, 9-172, 9-360 (for false voter registration application, absentee ballot application, and voting when not qualified) Violations of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-23g, 9-140, 9-172, 9-360 (for false voter registration application, absentee ballot application, and voting when not qualified) Commission fined him $1,500 Commission fined him $1,500

57 ELECTION DAY REGISTRATION If this passes, our cooperation is essential If this passes, our cooperation is essential Registrars will be in the trenches Registrars will be in the trenches Report suspicious activity to the Commission Report suspicious activity to the Commission MUNICIPAL PRIMARY REGISTRATION

58 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Complaint Process – Subject Matter Voting system standards; Voting system standards; Identification requirements for federal elections if registration by mail; Identification requirements for federal elections if registration by mail; Statewide computerized voter registration and list maintenance; Statewide computerized voter registration and list maintenance; Provisional Balloting Voting; Provisional Balloting Voting; Voting Information Requirements; and Voting Information Requirements; and Content of Voter Registration Forms Content of Voter Registration Forms

59 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Complaint Process Filed within 30 days of occurrence Filed within 30 days of occurrence Sworn under oath Sworn under oath Commission Regulations 9-7b-82 et. seq. Commission Regulations 9-7b-82 et. seq. Complainant has a right to a hearing and a determination within 90 days Complainant has a right to a hearing and a determination within 90 days First two HAVA complaints received and decided First two HAVA complaints received and decided

60 Uniform Application of State Election Laws

61 CONTACT INFORMATION STATE ELECTIONS ENFORCEMENT COMMISSION 20 TRINITY STREET HARTFORD, CT 06106 860-256-2940WWW.CT.GOV/SEEC


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