Referral by: Registrars of Voters
An individual’s bona fide residence is the place where that individual maintains a true, fixed and principal home to which the individual, whenever transiently relocated, has a genuine intent to return. On election day in November 2012, the respondent, Benjamin Goss, signed a change of address form and was allowed to vote, after he changed his address from Fairfield Street to Cottage Street in Manchester. After the election, the registrars of voters sent information to Goss’ new address that was "returned to sender." The registrars filed a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission and alleged that Goss lacked a bona fide residence at Cottage Street when he voted. Goss claimed that his parents resided at Cottage Street in Manchester when he was a child. When he became an adult, he leased an apartment on Fairfield Street in Manchester until September 2012, when he moved back to Cottage Street temporarily. In October 2012, his parent leased property in Hartford, because the mortgagee filed a foreclosure action to obtain title to the Cottage Street property. Goss resided at the Cottage Street property temporarily, to help to maintain it. Mail sent to that address was forwarded to his parent in Hartford. In early 2013, he moved to North Carolina. An elector is eligible to register to vote in Connecticut only if the voter is a bona fide resident, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §9-12. "[T]he evidence is insufficient to establish," concluded the State Elections Enforcement Commission, "that the Respondent was not a bona fide resident at the Cottage Street property in Manchester at the time that he submitted the request to change his address." The Cottage Street property had been his long-time childhood home, and his parent retained an interest in the property on election day. The State Elections Enforcement Commission dismissed the complaint and ordered the registrars of voters to remove Benjamin Goss’s name from the list of voters.