Complaint by: Dale
Registrars of voters may not be allowed to offer "curbside" voting, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §9-236(b), to all voters who are accompanied by young kids to a polling place that is under construction. On Aug. 8, 2012, a superintendent informed the respondent registrars of voters that voters with young children were not permitted to enter the polling place on August 14, because of asbestos abatement. The registrars immediately informed the media that "curbside" voting would be available to all voters who brought their young kids with them to vote. On August 14, Scott Dale went to vote and brought his 3-year-old child with him to the polls. Dale was unwilling to hand his ballot to an elections official, to place in the tabulator machine. Eventually, the registrars of voters agreed that an elections official would wheel the tabulator machine to the entrance of the building, so that Dale could place his ballot in the tabulator machine himself, after he marked it. Connecticut General Statutes §9-236b provides, "Every registered voter in this state has the right to: . . . Vote independently and in privacy at a polling place, regardless of physical disability." Ruling on an issue of apparent first impression about "curbside" voting, the State Elections Enforcement Commission found that the registrars of voters violated C.G.S. §9-236b(9). The registrars' solution of offering "curbside" voting did not permit Dale to "[v]ote independently and in privacy at a polling place," pursuant to C.G.S. §9-236b(9). Also, the registrars assumed that "curbside" voting could be offered to all voters with young children. "[T]he Respondents," wrote the State Elections Enforcement Commission, "were not permitted to offer voters 'curbside' voting under General Statutes §9-236(b) unless such voters were physically incapacitated." Although the registrars made an effort to accommodate Dale, by rolling the tabulator machine to the entrance of the polling place, that did not mitigate responsibility for not permitting Dale to enter. The registrars do not possess a history of similar violations. No voters were disenfranchised. The registrars made good-faith attempts to accommodate voters. The State Elections Enforcement Commission did not fine or discipline them.