Thank you to Chairman Flexer and Chairman Fox and ranking members Senator Sampson and Representative Mastrofranceso.
My name is Dominic Rapini - I am a businessman from New Haven County, a Connecticut voter for over 40 years, and a citizen deeply interested in the election process.
Today I testify in opposition to S.B. No. 184 and H.B. 5262. I don’t wish to litigate the serious issues I’ve pointed out in the past regarding the expansion of absentee ballot voting in Connecticut which lacks the requisite infrastructure. Nor do I want to use our time debating the Constitutional issues raised by this proposed legislation. Instead, I want to focus on a solution.
One thing we have learned during the pandemic is that we must respect individuals who have compromised immune systems and their legitimate predispositions to airborne viruses. We have also observed that the vast majority of voters prefer to execute their civic duty in person, a practice that has been in place for 244 years. Even in 2020, two-thirds of our electorate felt safe enough with the precautions put in place by our dedicated election officials and voted in person.
As a State Certified Election Day Moderator, I have been impressed with the thoughtfulness of our many procedures that enable citizens to vote regardless of their individual circumstances. We can solve the problem of concerned citizens wanting to vote in person, even in the waning days of the pandemic. We do not need to create new laws, compromise the Constitution or even create new processes. The solution is right in front of us, Curbside Voting.
I have outlined the Election Day Moderators' established procedures (below) for accommodating voters who deeply desire to vote in person but are unable to enter the polling precinct, for one reason or another. Let’s leverage this existing program, promote the option of curbside voting and create a win-win for the citizens of Connecticut.
Relevant Sections from the Moderators Handbook
Section 6, E-4.d. CURBSIDE VOTING
Both Assistant Registrars (or two election officials of opposing parties or factions) are to assist an elector requesting curbside voting. See Section 10 under Duties of the Assistant Registrars on page B-11.
Section 10, B-11 CURBSIDE VOTING
If an elector is present at the polling place but is unable to gain access due to a temporary physical incapacity, the elector may request that the ballot be brought to him or her. However, no proof of any such incapacity need be shown.
If curbside voting is requested, both Assistant Registrars together, (or two election officials of opposing parties or factions) will:
- Examine the elector’s identification, if any,
- Assist the elector in filling out any necessary paperwork for Restoration, or Transfer, or missing ID, as described above, and upon completion,
- Cause the elector’s name to be “Marked as Voting” on the official checklist, and
- Bring the elector’s ballot to the elector, along with a marking pen and privacy folder. When the elector has marked the ballot and placed it in the privacy folder, the Assistant Registrars, without looking at the markings, will take it to the ballot box and cast it by inserting it into the tabulator, or placing it in the Auxiliary Bin.
The Moderator will record such activity in the Moderator’s Diary.