Letter: Registrar of Voters complete training with new ballot-marking system

To the Editor:

Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, along with her staff of the Elections Division and various members of the Registrar of Voters Association, along with IVS, have spent countless hours in developing a new ballot marking system for Connecticut voters.

All Registrar of Voters offices in the state of Connecticut are bipartisan. It should be free of political interference and fall under the Secretary of State’s office.

The Secretary of State office and IVS personnel recently held a mandated hands-on training session in New Britain for the use of the new ballot marking system. This new system is an accessible voting device, enabling all voters with disabilities to vote privately and independently.

The ballot marking system has two functions for the voters: touch screen and audio, to accommodate a wide range of voters who may have a physical, sensory, cognitive, language or literacy disabilities.

During the training, I used the touch screen which accurately makes the same ballots used by all voters. I found this system to be far easier compared to a person standing in the privacy booth.

Our office has received the new ballot marking system, which I signed for. Both Registrars have received the training. We will be training the Moderators of each polling station on the operation of the device in the near future.

On Election Day, any elector who might have a disability are welcome to use the new ballot marking system with their caregiver or family member. These individuals may still also request curbside voting at each of our voting locations. I urge only those who truly require this accommodation to utilize it,  and not misuse it.

An elector may apply for an application for an absentee ballot through the City Clerk’s Office. Forms are also available online at CityofShelton.org — under the Registrar of Voters office. Residents can mail or hand deliver the application to the Shelton City Clerk’s office, located at 54 Hill Street.  

We urge all residents to continue using the online registration or stop in our office located on the second floor at 54 Grove Street between 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Our office, in the near future, will be mailing out a card to all households with an elector residing there to remind all the electors of their polling location.  

As a reminder, the 75-feet markers clearly states no person shall promote any candidate. Any shirt, hat, flyer, or campaign buttons promoting any candidate are prohibited past the 75-foot marker. No candidate is allowed past the 75-foot marker unless it is their voting location. These individuals are allowed to enter the polling station but must exit the building after the completion of voting. Children are welcome to view the process, but remember they can’t touch the ballot or insert it into the tabulator.

On Election Day, should a Shelton resident who wishes to vote but is not registered in Shelton may do so by using our Election Day Registration and becoming registered voter located at 54 Grove Street on the second floor. They must show proof of Shelton residency in order to register to vote in Shelton.

As a Vietnam Veteran, I urge all residents to vote their conscience on November 8.  

John “Jack” Finn

Democratic Registrar of Voters

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