Good afternoon Registrars,
It has come to my attention that several absentee ballots were rejected due to errors this morning. While not surprising in and of itself, I was discouraged to hear there is at present no plan in place to contact voters if their absentee ballots were rejected.
I have been in contact with the Secretary of State’s office and they have assured me that, as per their communication with your office this past week, the expectation and guidance provided from their office is for you to make every effort to contact voters and notify them that their vote will not count unless they show up at their polling place on Tuesday.
I’m attaching the full guidance from the Secretary of State, but for emphasis, the pertinent section is as follows (emphasis mine):
As such, if a voter is notified that their absentee ballot has been rejected because of the lack of a signature on the inner envelope, that voter may appear at the polls on election day and cast a ballot in person. Although not required, local officials may use their best efforts to notify voters of the defect in their ballot and their opportunity to voter in person.
Despite this, your initial response has been that you are abiding by the letter of the law and that it would be beyond your capabilities to contact those whose ballot has been rejected. Given the repeateddeficiencies of your office this election cycle, and given your staunch defense of staffing levels in excess of surrounding municipalities, I would hope that you reconsider and find the capacity to at least perform the following:
1. The list of rejected absentee ballots should be made public immediately.
2. Your office should make an attempt either directly or through the use of Town Constables to inform these individuals that their vote will not be counted unless they show up in person on Tuesday.
I am accompanying this letter with a formal FOI request in the hopes that if you find your office unable to respond effectively, you can at least make the list available so that we can notify our fellow members of the electorate that their ballot is being rejected.
I eagerly await your timely response,
Stratford Democratic Town Committee