Annual Report, Stratford CT, Registrar Of Voters Office, 2021

Welcome to the first Annual Report by the Stratford CT Registrars of Voters office, Calendar Year 2021

Department Focus & Mission

The Stratford Registrar of Voters office is responsible for the registration of eligible voters and the conducting of primary and general elections and referendums. Voters elect a Democratic and Republican registrar every four years on a town-wide basis to manage the office.

Our mission is to ensure the accuracy and integrity of all election results by providing professional and efficient services in an impartial manner and to encourage all eligible citizens to exercise their right to vote. Working with the Secretary of State’s office in Hartford, we maintain an accurate, updated voter registry to provide citizens with access to the vote and to uphold confidence in the voting experience. This includes

  • registering new residents as well as those who have come of age;
  • removing electors who are deceased or have moved out of town;
  • purging electors who have been inactive;
  • and updating the names, addresses and party affiliation of Stratford registered voters.

In an effort to prevent election interference, we seek to conduct all functions in the office in a strictly non-partisan manner. We hire 100+ poll workers, from across all political affiliations, for every election to help us fulfill our mission. Contact us if you would like to be considered for such a paid position: Registrar@townofstratford.com

Ensuring Accuracy 1:

Paring The Voter Rolls

In 2021, the ROV office continued to tightly monitor the registration of eligible voters in Stratford. While 3,028 voters had their registration removed during the CY 2020 presidential election, the number of removals increased to 5,446 in the 2021 municipal election year. Registrations can be removed due to such reasons as a voter moving out of town, dying, or not participating in several consecutive elections.

2021 also was a busy year for changes to registrations (3,095 changes processed in CY21, compared to 3,091 in the usually busier 2020 presidential election year).

In all, the office handled 11,003 transactions in CY2021, more than in the 2020 presidential year.

2021 also was a busy year for changes to registrations (3,096 changes processed in CY21, compared to 3,091 in the usually busier 2020 presidential election year).

In all, the office handled 11,003 transactions in CY2021, more than in the 2020 presidential year.

Ensuring Accuracy 2:

Eyeballing The Voter Registration Cards

While Stratford and all Connecticut municipalities rely on the state CVRS computerized voter registration system, we are mandated to maintain and update the traditional paper Voter Registration cards from 35,000 residents,

During slow periods in the office, we conducted an exhaustive inventory, looking at each individual card (every name, from A,B,D to X,Y,Z) to ensure the cards accurately reflected active voters.

As a result:

Some 2,720 cards were removed because the resident was not an active voter.

At least 479 voters improperly had two cards on file, even though they were listed only once in the state online CVRS system (which is the primary source to determine eligibility on Election Day). One common problem: a single woman was listed under her maiden name, did not tell the ROV office when she got married, and then registered again under her married name. The cards were combined, with careful attention paid to also combining the multiple voting records into a single record.

In addition, another 4,950 cards were not in correct alphabetical order. One reason: voters often incorrectly listed their first name, then last name, contrary to instructions. The cards were corrected and put back in order.

Learning From Others

The ROV office remained abreast of best practices in the field through participation in ROVAC (the Registrar Of Voters Association of Connecticut trade organization) and through the Secretary of State’s office. Registrar Louis DeCilio served as Chairman of the Audit Committee for ROVAC, while Registrar James Simon helped head a statewide effort to update the ROVAC Handbook due to the many changes in Connecticut election law.

In January 2022, the Stratford Registrars volunteered to have Stratford’s 2021 ballots used in a trial, conducted by the UConn Center for Voting Technology Research, to examine additional safeguards to protect the integrity of the vote tabulation process.

At a time when the voting process was being criticized elsewhere, the Stratford ROV office increased its use of Facebook to communicate directly with voters, explaining the year-long election process and answering their questions about the integrity and accuracy of elections in Stratford.

Supplemental Sources Of Information:

  • Stratford ROV Town Hall web pages : https://stratfordct.gov/content/39832/39846/39935/default.aspx
  • Register to Vote; change your name, address and/or Party affiliation: https://voterregistration.gov/OLVR
  • Look up and see if you are already registered: https://portaldir.gov/sots/LookUp.aspx?fbclid=IwAR lyUL06V2ci3TmhQDbOL­ b0tv4nOnowc38XOINlE6L33A3aJ5ifObNeX3k

Looking Ahead To 2022

Stratford Registrars take part in an appointed town Redistricting Commission, designed to redraw lines for the 10 Town Council Districts so each is within 10 percent of one another (based on the 2020 U.S. Census). Recommended changes go to the Town Council for final approval; new lines take effect in 2023 municipal election.

August 9, 2022

Potential primary elections for any challengers to party candidates for governor and other constitutional offices, Congress, state legislature, town Judge of Probate.

November 8, 2022

General election for offices listed above.

Come Visit Us At Stratford Town Hall, Room 117, Monday-Friday, 8:30a – 430p:

Registrar James Simon (D); jsimon@townofstratford.com Registrar  Louis DeCilio (R); ldecilio@townofstratford.com Judy Scala, administrative assistant; jscala@townofstratford.com

(Thanks to the Westport, Bristol ROV offices for the useful format they use in their annual reports.)

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