The first-ever professional certification program for Registrars of Voters, who are in charge of Connecticut’s elections, begins on Monday. Classes will be taught through the University of Connecticut School of Business and the state’s 339 registrars will have to be certified within the next two years. The certification process and training for registrars was part of legislation signed into law earlier this year to strengthen Connecticut’s elections. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said there have been discussions about developing a curriculum for registrars for years, but confusion and delays at her polling place in Hartford in 2014 may have created some additional momentum. “Every voter should have the same experience, in every town,” Merrill said. Merrill and other Hartford voters were not able to vote immediately when they got to the Hartford Seminary because the voter check-off lists had not been delivered. There were similar delays at about 10 of Hartford’s 26 polling places.
The legislation, which creates the certification program, also allows, going forward, for the option to remove registrars in extreme cases of negligence or dereliction of duty. But problems with how elections are being administered and how laws are being followed is more than a Hartford issue.
Michael Brandi, executive director of the State Elections Enforcement Commission, said a lot of questions come up every year related to absentee balloting and processes in general. “What this will hopefully do is make sure the registrars have an educational forum where they’re up to date on the changes in the law,” Brandi said.
Merrill said the attempts to put together a curriculum had languished for years, but members of her office, the Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut, the State Elections Enforcement Commission, and the University of Connecticut were able to work together to make it a reality. The training program is composed of eight classes that are two to four hours each. A test is given during each of the classes and registrars must pass each with a score of 80 percent. They must pass a final exam with a score of 90 percent.
Full Article: CT News Junkie | Registrars of Voters Begin School On Monday.