August 3, 2012
SUPERVISED ABSENTEE VOTING DESIGNEES
By: Kristin Sullivan, Principal Analyst
You asked whether the law prohibits individuals who solicit qualifying contributions for General Assembly candidates participating in the Citizens' Election Program (CEP) from also being supervised absentee voting designees.
Under state absentee voting laws, registrars of voters or their designees supervise absentee voting at nursing homes and other residential care and mental health facilities. The law does not prohibit individuals who solicit CEP qualifying contributions for General Assembly candidates from also being supervised absentee voting designees. But it does restrict who may act as a designee.
Specifically, the law (1) requires designees to belong to the same political party and live in the same town as the registrars who appoint them and (2) prohibits employees of the institution where the supervised voting occurs (e.g., nursing home or residential care home) from being designees. The law also prohibits registrars of voters from supervising the voting when an immediate family member is on the ballot.
During supervised absentee voting sessions, registrars or their designees deliver the ballots to the facility and jointly supervise voters while they fill them out. The voter has the right to complete his or her ballot in secret, but registrars observe the process and are available to provide assistance if asked. In that case, both parties' registrars or designees jointly render assistance. The sessions are optional or mandatory, depending on the number of patients at the facility who are registered voters. If at least 20 patients are registered voters in the town, the registrars must conduct a session (CGS §§ 9-159q and 159r).