Referral of Wilton Town Clerk and Registrars of Voters
An individual who helps a relative apply for an absentee ballot may be required to identify him or herself. On Sept. 5, 2012, the respondent, John Hartner, allegedly handed absentee ballot applications to the town clerk, on behalf of himself and Kyle Hartner, his son. Town officials were not persuaded that Kyle Hartner's signature on the application was valid. John Hartner asked about Kyle Hartner's absentee ballot application, and the town clerk informed John Hartner it had not been processed, because the signature did not appear to be valid. Kyle Hartner visited the town clerk in person, applied for an absentee ballot and signed it. Afterward, John Hartner allegedly admitted that he completed the original absentee ballot application and signed on behalf of his child, with his child's permission. Hartner claimed that he signed, because he did not want his child to miss the opportunity to vote for the president. The State Elections Enforcement Commission found that John Hartner violated Connecticut General Statutes §9-140(a), because he allegedly helped his child complete the absentee ballot application without identifying himself as a helper and signed his son's signature. The statute provides, "Any person who assists another person in the completion of an application shall, in the space provided, sign the application and print or type his name, residence address and telephone number. . . . The application shall be signed by the applicant under penalties of false statement in absentee balloting." The State Elections Enforcement Commission did not find any evidence of fraudulent intent. The town clerk and registrars of voters were vigilant. There was one vote per person. The commission ordered John Hartner to pay a $200 fine and to comply with C.G.S. §9-140 henceforth.