In the Matter of a Complaint: by Friedrich
Connecticut General Statutes §9-236(a) and (c) generally prevent citizens from entering the polling places on election day, except to vote. During the Aug. 14, 2012, primary, Prasad Srinivasan allegedly visited the municipal polling places and spoke to elections officials. At the time, Srinivasan served as the State Representative for the 31st General Assembly District. Allen Friedrich filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission, alleging that Srinivasan, who was not on the ballot, wrongly entered the polling places when he did not intend to vote and had not been appointed as an election official or a party checker. The State Elections Enforcement Commission found that during the August 14 primary, Srinivasan visited four different polling places. Connecticut General Statutes §9-236(a) and (c) prohibit loitering within polling places and entering the polling places other than to vote. The statute provides, "No person except those permitted or exempt under this section or section 9-236a and primary or election officials and party checkers appointed under section 9-235 shall be allowed within any polling place except for the purpose of casting his vote." Although there was no evidence that Srinivasan knew he was violating the statute, as a member of the General Assembly Srinivasan was a "sophisticated participant" in elections. The State Elections Enforcement Commission held Srinivasan to a higher standard than normal citizens. The State Elections Enforcement Commission reprimanded Srinivasan and ordered that he comply with C.G.S. §9-236(a) and (c) in the future.