Complaint by: Garrett
Connecticut General Statutes §9-236 provides, "On the day of any primary, referendum or election, no person shall solicit in behalf of or in opposition to the candidacy of another or himself or in behalf of or in opposition to any question being submitted at the election or referendum, or loiter or peddle or offer any advertising matter, ballot or circular to another person within a radius of seventy-five feet of any outside entrance in use as an entry to any polling place." The complainant, Daniel Garrett, alleged that the respondent moderator, Nancy Barr, incorrectly placed markers that indicated the nearest point at which candidates could approach the voting polls at a school in Hamden at a location that was more than 75 feet away from the polls. The State Elections Enforcement Commission found that the respondent correctly considered safety concerns when she placed the markers. "[T]he Commission here concludes," wrote the commission, "that Respondent Nancy Barr did not violate General Statutes §9-236(b) by placing the 75' signs in the locations and in the manner which she did on November 8, 2011 at the West Wood School." The State Elections Enforcement Commission observed that if the 75-foot marker is not placed in the correct location, an individual who does not obey the 75-foot marker will not violate C.G.S. §9-236, provided that the individual remains 75 feet away from the polling place. The State Elections Enforcement Commission lacks jurisdiction to decide First Amendment issues, and it did not consider the complainant's claim that the respondents violated his rights under the First Amendment.