Complaint by: Rajala
An incumbent who allegedly helps to engineer a pay raise for a town worker, as an emolument to reward the worker for helping to suppress voter turnout and votes, can violate Connecticut General Statutes §9-622. Approximately 10 days prior to election day on Nov. 8, 2011, the District 1 polling place in the Town of East Windsor lost electricity as a result of a severe snowstorm on October 29. Judith Rajala, who was a candidate for first selectman, alleged that the incumbent first selectman, Denise Menard, recommended to the registrar that District 1 polls move from town hall to the high school, which was used as an emergency shelter and had electricity. Rajala claimed that the incumbent first selectman hoped to suppress turnout and votes by District 1 voters. The registrar rejected the incumbent's proposal. Municipal workers located a generator to provide electricity at town hall and cleared the driveway and parking lot of trees and debris. The State Elections Enforcement Commission found that Rajala failed to prove that the incumbent first selectman attempted to delay the restoration of electricity to town hall, in order to move the polling place to another location and to suppress voter turnout and votes. Rajala also failed to prove that the incumbent first selectman rewarded a town worker with a raise, because he supported the first selectman's idea. The incumbent first selectman opposed the raise when the raise went before the Board of Selectmen. Rajala also failed to prove that the incumbent first selectman violated the 75-foot rule in C.G.S. §9-236(a), even if the incumbent walked past the entrance to the District 1 polling place en route to the first selectman's office in town hall on election day. "If a polling place is located within a building that houses other activities, such as a town hall, school or community center," wrote the State Elections Enforcement Commission, C.G.S. "§9-236(a) does not foreclose all other activity in the building on that day." The State Elections Enforcement Commission dismissed the complaint.