Ask the Registrar

Your place to get questions answered about voting and local elections in Stratford CT.

By James Simon, Democratic Registrar

Q: Registrar Simon you have been in office over a year now and you have worked both primary and general elections last year. Is it necessary for your office to be a full time position? How is Stratford Registrars different from the other towns listed?  Were you wrong to campaign for the office in 2020 saying the job should be part time?…”

A: As a candidate in 2020, I stressed the need to reduce the size and cost of the ROV office:  https://stratfordcrier.com/candidate/?fbclid=IwAR1rcLr0GfjaEqNRkdFt2vWbCIKwuzUJUENj6mauZk_C22GzxnwIxX54K_4

I spent 2021 examining the office and seeking improvements: https://www.stratfordct.gov/filestorage/39879/41184/rov.pdf

On January 13th  the mayor’s budget team asked municipal supervisors to submit their budget requests for 2022-23. On January 29th, I recommended, in writing, that for the Registrar of Voters office, “The payroll amount be reduced to reflect the two elected Registrar positions being moved from full-time to part-time status.” On February 15th, I met with the mayor and her budget team and explained my recommendation. On March 11th, the mayor released her budget recommendation, and the two positions remain full-time.  The next step is for the Town Council to conduct its budget hearings.

There have been improvements. When I began campaigning for the ROV position in 2020, there were four full-time people in the office with the title of Registrar. One of them retired, and was not replaced, and another had the job title revised to administrative assistant, which better fits the position.

Q: Where can I get information on Stratford elections?

A.Ten years ago, you could follow election coverage in the weekly Stratford Star newspaper, and The Connecticut Post covered the town closely. The Post still offers coverage, as does The Stratford Patch online, but many voters rely on the two dozen Facebook groups focused on Stratford, as well as the digital Stratford Crier which you can sign up to receive at StratfordCrier.Com.

Go to Facebook and type Stratford CT into the search engine and see the 30+ options.  On FB, false claims and trolling opponents are rampant; many contributors do not follow journalism goals of verification and accuracy, and some healthy skepticism on the part of the reader is always needed.

Also useful is the Mayor’s online newsletter — http://mayorhoydick.com/ ,

The Stratford Registrar of Voters page:  https://www.stratfordct.gov/content/39832/39846/39935/default.aspx,

and the Town Clerk’s page: https://www.stratfordct.gov/townclerk

Q: I read on Facebook that you currently teach two college courses, in addition to Registrar duties. Is this true?

A. Such FB trolling reminds me of the old saying, “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.”  I taught one course online last semester to complete my obligation to Southern Connecticut State University. This year, I do not teach any courses, and I have no plans to do so in the future.

Q: Do registered voters ever lie about where they really live in Stratford?

A: The Connecticut election rules can be murky, and several voters have improperly tried to claim that a mailing address – such as a UPS store – is their actual residence. In establishing residency, we often focus on “where you lay your head” to sleep at night. It would be hard to sleep in a UPS box.

Q: If I want to switch parties so I can vote in the expected August 9th primary, what’s the deadline?

A: May 9th (three months in advance of the election).

More Questions? Please Send Them To Registrar Jim Simon; jsimon@townofstratford.com. This is not an official publication of the Town of Stratford. (Vol. 2, No. 3; March 2022)

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