• State Elections Enforcement Commission
  • 2013-089
  • Mar 19 2014 (Date Decided)
  • Castagno, Chair

A candidate who votes on Election Day is required to immediately exit the polls and may not linger. On June 24, 2013, the Town of Roxbury held a special election as a result of a vacancy on the Region 12 Board of Education. One of the candidates, Gregory Cava, allegedly admitted that after he voted he did not immediately exit the polls, and that he stayed to talk with his child, who was working at the polls. Cava maintained that he did not wear a campaign button, talk to voters or distribute literature in the room designated for voting. Cava won 227 to 177. The State Elections Enforcement Commission found that Cava violated C.G.S. §9-236, because he did not immediately exit. “Entering or remaining in a polling place without statutory leave,” wrote the commission, “is a per se civil violation of General Statutes 9-236(c).” 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 the regulations require that candidates remain 75 feet or more from the polling place, and one witness claimed that Cava violated the rule, the registrars of voters did not clearly mark the 75 feet, and the commission did not find a violation. The commission ordered Cava to comply with C.G.S. §9-236 in the future.