Newtown’s two registrars of voters were unable to catch the “Checks and Balances Express,” a bus full of Fairfield County registrars and voting rights supporters, as it carried opponents of a proposal to eliminate elected registrars to a hearing on Monday, March 9, in Hartford. But Democratic Registrar LeReine Frampton and Republican Registrar Joanne Albanesi stood with their colleagues in spirit, while providing written testimony against SB1051, legislation proposed by Secretary of the State Denise Merrill which eliminates the balance of power between two registrars of opposite parties, in favor of an appointed administrator. According to a release issued the Monday, registrars from Danbury, Ridgefield, Brookfield, Shelton, Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk, New Canaan, and Fairfield boarded their rented bus to head to Hartford.
Fred DeCaro, Greenwich Republican registrar and chairman of the Fairfield County Chapter of the Registrars of Voters Association of CT (ROVAC), called the bill “a hasty and ill-conceived overreaction which forces a statewide change due to mistakes made in Hartford, Denise Merrill’s backyard.”
“Having individuals of opposing parties jointly administer elections doesn’t just benefit those parties, it benefits all voters, including those unaffiliated with any party,” Mr DeCaro said. “You want multiple pairs of eyes looking critically at every decision made in preparation for an election.”
That sentiment was echoed by Newtown’s top voting officials in their appeal against the proposal to lawmakers including State Senator Tony Hwang.