Ask The Registrar | May 2022 Edition

ASK THE REGISTRAR — STRATFORD, CT.
Your place for answers about voting and local elections in Stratford.
By Registrar James Simon (D). May 2022 edition.

Q1: Is there a final decision on whether there will be statewide Democratic and Republican primary elections on August 9?

Both parties held their statewide political conventions on May 7 and officially endorsed candidates for governor, U.S. Senate, and statewide constitutional offices. Multiple Democratic candidates for state Treasurer and Secretary of State received at least 15 percent of the delegate vote, thereby qualifying for an Aug. 9 primary election. On the Republican side, multiple candidates qualified to run for U.S. Senate and Secretary of State. Candidates also can force a primary for congressional and legislative positions.

Our ROV office is always looking for responsible people to work in paid positions at the polls every election day. If interested, e-mail us at Registrars@townofstratford.com. One warning: it is a LONG day, from 5:30a to about 8:15p.

Q2: My son moved out of state, but he keeps getting jury duty notices from Connecticut. Is it because he is still registered to vote here?

Jury administrators use multiple lists, including voter registration lists, to decide whom should be called. Everyone who moves should automatically update their voter registration information; yes, taking such action can reduce the likelihood that Connecticut will send a jury duty notice to someone who moved out of state. But there can be a lag time before the jury lists are updated. There also are separate state and federal jury duty lists.

Bottom line: keep your voter registration info up to date, whether you move across town, to another Connecticut town, or out of state.

Q3. “…How much foot traffic does the Registrar’s office get during a year ? Do we really need the office open Monday to Friday, eight hours a day? It seems most stuff gets done online or by mail, and absentee ballots are handled by the Town Clerk.”

People come to our office, Room 117 in Town Hall, daily to register to vote in person or check their registration. There are three of us working in the office, and we stagger our schedules so someone is almost always here.

Far more people do take advantage of online registration and the motor-voter law that allows them to register to vote when they change their Department of Motor Vehicles information. But all that electronic material is then funneled through our office to process. We also try to ensure that your past voting history follows you. If you fail to vote in consecutive federal elections, you can be moved to the inactive category and, eventually, taken off the voting rolls due to inactivity.

Finally, the Town Clerk does indeed issue and collect Absentee Ballots; the ROV office then processes/counts them, combining them with day-of voting totals to produce and certify the final election results.

Q4. I read the governor signed a bill that expands the use of absentee ballot voting in Connecticut. I thought they needed a constitutional amendment to do that.

The bill was signed into law by Gov. Lamont on April 9, at a time when he himself had Covid-19. Taking advantage of a recent state Supreme Court decision, it redefines a “sickness” as an acceptable reason for absentee voting. In addition to a voter’s personal illness, it would now apply to a voter taking care of someone else’s health, such as an ill relative. It also makes it easier for commuters to use a mail-in ballot.

Connecticut is one of only six states that require their residents to vote in person on Election Day unless a voter has a statutorily defined excuse. Legislative leaders hope to have a constitutional amendment put on the ballot in future years to change the current law.

Q5. Why didn’t I get a copy of my voting card when I registered?

Like most Connecticut towns, Stratford does not issue official voter ID cards. We do have both electronic and print copies of your voter registration information. We do get occasional requests for copies of a person’s voter registration record, and we can send you either a print or electronic copy.

You also can check on your status here.

 

MORE QUESTIONS? PLEASE SEND THEM TO REGISTRAR JIM SIMON; jsimon@townofstratford.com. This is not an official publication of the Town of Stratford. (Vol. 2, No. 5; May 2022)

 

 

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