The following is a letter to the editor, published on Thursday November 17, 2011 as written by Chet Miller the Republican Registrar of Voters in Wallingford.
Editor: The registrars of voters would like to thank all poll workers for their work on Election Day and also to those who also worked the referendum just six days later. For the benefit of those people upset that this could not be on the election ballot and saw none of the explanations elsewhere, here is the true explanation. State Statute 9-369a prevented its being on the ballot. A second polling place on the same day as election was not feasible because SS9-289 requires one privacy booth for every 250 voters eligible to vote at a poll, which we don’t have (they cost $175 to $200 each and we were 80 short).
We also were lacking space, trained and certified poll workers to staff the second poll, and lacked the required number of scanner machines to operate legally. The old machines could not be used due to SS9-240a.
While I was personally attacked and blamed for this, understand that there are two registrars who work together and must agree on all decisions. There was no “clandestine meeting” as charged. Our job is to administer elections to comply with the law. We do not set dates or decide arbitrarily who can and can’t vote. We follow the law and our town charter, even if it may sound silly to some. We work with the school system and Senior Center to minimize disruption of programs. We kept traffic out of the elementary schools, which were in session, for safety’s sake. It never was a matter of what was convenient for us, but what was economically prudent and what complied with the law.
If law allowed things to be eliminated, combined or staff reduced, it was done.
Consolidation of polls saved $14,000, offset by the cost of $5,100 for the notification postcard.