A bipartisan committee has been appointed by the Board of Selectmen to review the recent election process, which was marred by long delays in reporting results, incorrect ballots and a vote-scanner breakdown. The review, First Selectman Michael Tetreau said at last week’s board meeting, “is not a witch hunt. This is about the process.” The registrars of voters, Republican Roger Autuori and Democrat Matthew Waggner, who by state law oversee elections in town, have been at odds for several years and work in separate offices in old Town Hall. Autuori was charged with breach of peace after the two had a dispute while preparing for the 2013 election, and Waggner told police Autuori had slapped him. Later, Autuori reported Waggner to police for ripping down signs directing the public to Autuori’s new second-floor office. “This is not a witch hunt,” agreed Selectman Kevin Kiley. “We’re just trying to raise awareness and maintain the integrity” of the election process.
The committee members — Democrats Catherine Albin and James Quinn, and Republicans Ronald Pine and Bryan Cafferelli — will compile “a list of issues and concerns raised by citizens and volunteers related to this past election season, including those issues involved with absentee ballot handling,” according to the charge approved by the selectmen.
The group will have 60 days to “determine the circumstances and cause of each issue identified” and review with the registrars actions that can be taken to improve future elections.