Referral of: Young-Kleinfeld
A citizen who votes via absentee ballot and is available to vote on election day is required to contact the town clerk prior to 10 a.m. on election day and arrange to withdraw the absentee ballot, prior to voting at the polls. The registrar of voters alleged that Iris Farer cast an absentee ballot on November 5 and then voted at her designated polling place on Nov. 6, 2012, the day of the election, without formally withdrawing her absentee ballot. The moderator informed the registrars of voters, who contacted the Secretary of State and withheld the absentee ballot. Connecticut General Statutes §9-159o provides, "Any elector who has returned an absentee ballot to the clerk and who finds he is able to vote in person shall proceed before ten o'clock a.m. on election, primary or referendum day to the municipal clerk's office and request that his ballot be withdrawn." Farer claimed that she submitted an absentee ballot because she intended to travel to Toronto on election day, then changed her travel plans, because her child was ill. Farer denied that she intended to vote twice and claimed that she assumed that election officials would withdraw her absentee ballot. "Respondent," wrote the State Elections Enforcement Commission, "violated General Statutes §9-135 by [submitting] an absentee ballot for which she was not eligible, and §9-159o by failing to withdraw her absentee ballot before 10:00 am on Election Day." Farer credibly testified that she did not intend to commit voter fraud, a serious offense that can be punished with fines, disenfranchisement and incarceration. Farer has no prior history and appeared to be genuinely remorseful. The State Elections ordered her to comply with Connecticut General Statues §§9-135 and 9-159o in the future.