CHAPTER 152
REFERENDA

Table of Contents

Sec. 9-369. Procedure for holding referendum.
Sec. 9-369a. Submission of local questions at election.
Sec. 9-369c. Absentee ballots for referendum voting.

      Sec. 9-369. Procedure for holding referendum. Whenever at any regular or special state or municipal election any vote for approval or disapproval of any constitutional amendment or any question or proposal is taken pursuant to the Constitution, the general statutes or any special act, unless otherwise provided, such election shall be warned and held, the vote on such amendment, question or proposal cast and canvassed and the result determined and certified as nearly as may be in accordance with the provisions governing the election of officers in the state or in such municipality. The warning for such election shall state that a purpose of such election is to vote for the approval or disapproval of such amendment, question or proposal and shall state the section of the Constitution or of the general statutes or the special act under authority of which such vote is taken. The vote on such amendment, question or proposal shall be taken by a "Yes" and "No" vote on the voting tabulator, and the designation of such amendment, question or proposal on the ballot shall be "Shall (here insert the question or proposal, followed by a question mark)". Such ballot shall be provided for use in accordance with the provisions of section 9-250. The municipal clerk shall number on the ballot the questions to be voted upon according to the order in which they will appear thereon, provided amendments to the Constitution shall be numbered by the Secretary of the State in numerical order based upon the dates on which resolutions proposing such amendments were passed, precedence being given to the earliest passed unless otherwise provided by the resolutions proposing such amendments. Each elector shall vote "Yes" if in favor of the amendment, question or proposal or "No" if not in favor thereof. If, upon the official determination of the result of such vote, it appears that a majority of all the votes so cast are in approval of such amendment, question or proposal, such amendment, question or proposal shall, unless otherwise provided, take effect forthwith.

      (1949, Rev., S. 1041; 1953, S. 846d; 1961, P.A. 479; 1963, P.A. 224, S. 3; 1971, P.A. 507, S. 1; P.A. 78-168, S. 2; P.A. 79-243, S. 1; P.A. 86-170, S. 1, 13; P.A. 11-20, S. 23.)

      History: 1961 act added provisions re adhesive labels for "Vote on Questions"; 1963 act deleted provision prohibiting absentee voting on constitutional amendments; 1971 act added provision that a vote on amendment or question shall be taken by a "yes" or "no" vote on the voting machine and set forth the phrasing of the amendment question or proposal, provided for the municipal clerk to number the questions to be voted upon in order of their appearance except for amendments to be numbered by the secretary of the state based on chronological order except as otherwise provided by the resolutions proposing amendments and also provided that voters shall vote "yes" if in favor and "no" if not in favor of the matter being voted upon; P.A. 78-168 deleted provision that chapter 145 shall not apply to vote taken on proposal or question submitted at a meeting of electors or voters which meeting is not an "election" and provided that proposal or question submitted at a referendum shall be submitted to municipal clerk at least four weeks in advance of the referendum; P.A. 79-243 deleted the provision added by P.A. 78-168; P.A. 86-170 required use of question format on ballot label; P.A. 11-20 replaced "machine" with "tabulator" and "voting machine ballot label" and "ballot label" with "ballot", and deleted language re adhesive label, effective May 24, 2011.

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      Sec. 9-369a. Submission of local questions at election. Whenever by law it is provided that a question may be submitted to a vote of the electors of a municipality at an election, as that term is defined in section 9-1:

      (a) The electors of the municipality entitled to vote by absentee ballot at the election under the provisions of section 9-135 shall be entitled to vote upon any such question.

      (b) When the clerk of the municipality determines that the necessary action has been taken for submission of the question, he shall, at least forty-five days prior to the election, file in the office of the Secretary of the State a statement setting forth the designation of the question as it is to appear on the ballot at the election, the date upon which the submitting action was taken and the reference to the law under which the action was taken. Such designation shall be in the form of a question, as provided in section 9-369. Whenever it is specifically provided in the general statutes that any such question may be approved for such submission within the period of forty-five days prior to such an election, and action is taken to submit a question within such period, the clerk of the municipality shall file the statement required by this subsection with the Secretary of the State immediately upon the taking of such action.

      (c) When action is taken for submission of a question, from the time of such action through the day of the election, the clerk of the municipality shall make the full text of the question and the designation which is to appear upon the ballot available for public inspection. If the designation is not prescribed by law, the clerk shall phrase the designation of the question in a form suitable for printing on the ballot. The warning of the election shall include a statement that the question is to be voted upon, the designation of the question to appear on the ballot, and a statement that the full text of the question is available for public inspection in the clerk's office.

      (d) The moderator or head moderator of the election shall file the results of the vote on each such question and the returns of the election with the Secretary of the State in the manner prescribed under the provisions of section 9-314 or other applicable law.

      (1961, P.A. 362; February, 1965, P.A. 38, S. 1; P.A. 79-363, S. 27, 38; P.A. 85-577, S. 10; P.A. 86-170, S. 2, 13; 86-179, S. 46, 53; P.A. 11-173, S. 49.)

      History: 1965 act changed from 28 days to 45 days prior to election where appearing in Subsec. (b) pertaining to filing of statement by municipal clerk with the secretary of the state, effective with respect to all elections held on or after January 1, 1966; P.A. 79-363 deleted reference to Sec. 9-136 in Subsec. (a); P.A. 85-577 added Subsec. (d) re moderators' duty to file results of votes on questions with secretary of the state; P.A. 86-170 required that ballot label designation be in form of a question; P.A. 86-179 made technical changes; P.A. 11-173 amended Subsecs. (b) and (c) by changing "voting machine ballot labels" to "ballot" and "ballot label" to "ballot", effective July 13, 2011.

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      Sec. 9-369c. Absentee ballots for referendum voting. (a) Whenever a referendum, as defined in subdivision (2) or (3) of subsection (n) of section 9-1, is to be held on any question or proposal, the question or proposal shall be submitted to the municipal clerk in the form in which it will appear on the ballot at least three weeks prior to the date on which the referendum is to be held, and the municipal clerk shall make absentee ballots available for use at the referendum in accordance with the provisions of this section, provided, if any other provision of the general statutes, a special act, a charter provision or an ordinance specifically authorizes a referendum to be held with less than three weeks' notice, absentee ballots shall be made available for each such referendum within four business days after the question or questions which are to be voted on at the referendum are finalized. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to the contrary, a municipal clerk may only provide an absentee ballot for such referendum held with less than three weeks' notice to a person who applies in person at the office of the municipal clerk for an absentee ballot (1) for himself or (2) for a prospective applicant who designates such person for such purpose. The designee may be a licensed physician, registered or practical nurse or any other person who is caring for the applicant because of the applicant's illness, a member of the applicant's family or a police officer, registrar of voters or deputy registrar of voters in the municipality in which the applicant resides. The designee may also return the ballot in person to the municipal clerk not later than the close of the polls.

      (b) At any such referendum, any person who would be eligible to vote on the question or proposal if he appeared in person and is unable to appear in person for one or more of the reasons set forth in section 9-135, may cast his vote by absentee ballot, in accordance with the requirements of this section.

      (c) Upon receipt of the written form of the question or proposal to be voted on at any such referendum, the municipal clerk shall immediately prepare and print absentee ballots for the referendum. The phrasing of the question or proposal on the absentee ballots shall be identical to the phrasing on the ballot to be used for voting in person at the referendum. Prior to printing the ballots, the registrars of voters of the municipality may provide comments concerning the content and form of such ballots to the clerk.

      (d) Upon notification by the municipal clerk that such a referendum will be held, the Secretary of the State shall furnish to such clerk the forms and materials described in section 9-139a in the amount requested by the clerk.

      (e) Any person who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot as provided in this section may apply in person or by mail to the municipal clerk for an absentee ballot. Application shall be made on a form furnished by the Secretary of the State, as provided in subsection (d) of this section. Upon receipt of an application or upon the nineteenth day before the date of the referendum, whichever is later, the municipal clerk shall give to the applicant or mail, as the case may be, the absentee ballot and the envelopes furnished by the Secretary of the State. No absentee ballot shall be issued after the opening of the polls at the referendum, except as provided in section 9-150c.

      (f) The procedures for issuing, returning, casting and counting absentee ballots, declaring the count and packaging the ballots at elections, shall apply, as nearly as may be, to absentee ballots at referenda.

      (P.A. 79-243, S. 2; P.A. 86-179, S. 48, 53; P.A. 87-320, S. 2; P.A. 91-286, S. 5; P.A. 93-384, S. 25, 28; P.A. 11-20, S. 24; 11-173, S. 50.)

      History: P.A. 86-179 made technical changes; P.A. 87-320 amended Subsec. (a) to repeal text at beginning of Subsec. providing "Unless otherwise provided by any provision of the general statutes, any special act, charter provision or ordinance", added reference to Sec. 9-1(n)(3) to definition of referendum, required question or proposal to be submitted to clerk at least three weeks, instead of four weeks, before referendum date, and added provisions for referendum held with less than three weeks notice; P.A. 91-286 deleted provision in Subsec. (d) which had required payment to secretary of the state for forms and materials described in Sec. 9-139a; P.A. 93-384 amended Subsec. (b) to authorize designee to also return ballot in person to municipal clerk by close of polls, effective January 1, 1994; P.A. 11-20 amended Subsec. (c) to delete reference to ballot label, effective May 24, 2011; P.A. 11-173 amended Subsec. (c) by deleting reference to ballot label and adding language re comments by registrars, effective July 13, 2011.

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