Complaint by Jones-Torregrosa
Connecticut General Statutes §9-364 provides, Any person who influences or attempts to influence any elector to stay away from any election shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars and imprisoned not more than one year. Approximately 450 Wesleyan University students who registered to vote allegedly wrote their campus post office box numbers on the registration forms. The Wesleyan University dormitories are located in five different voting districts. The municipal registrars of voters became concerned about whether students were registered to vote correctly. The registrars suggested that the students travel to the registrars office, to confirm they were registered correctly. The registrars warned the students they might not be allowed to vote, if they attempted to vote at an incorrect polling location. The registrars wrote, You provided us with a post office box, which, by this Statute, is not a proper address for the purposes of voting. The registrars added, Please be aware that in the event that you cannot visit our office to confirm your physical address, you may need to fill out a transfer form should you be at an incorrect polling district. The complainants filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission, alleging that the respondent registrars of voters attempted to keep the students away from the polls, in violation of C.G.S. §9-364. The State Elections Enforcement Commission found that the complainants failed to prove that the registrars of voters attempted to discourage Wesleyan students from voting. These statements, wrote the State Elections Enforcement Commission, appear to be no more than attempts to influence these student electors to verify their voter registrations ahead of the election so that they would be eligible vote at the appropriate polling location on Election Day. The complainants also alleged that Mayor Sebastian Giuliano, who suggested that students visit the registrars of voters prior to election day, attempted to discourage Wesleyan University students from voting. The State Elections Enforcement Commission found that the mayor attempted to explain the rules and did not attempt to keep Wesleyan University students away from the polls. The State Elections Enforcement Commission dismissed the complaint.