CHAPTER 151

ELECTIONS: PROHIBITED ACTS AND PENALTIES

Table of Contents

Sec. 9-349. Unlawful sessions of board for admission.

Sec. 9-350. Failure to warn election.

Sec. 9-351. Delay in counting or declaring vote.

Sec. 9-352. Tampering with tabulator by election official.

Sec. 9-353. False return.

Sec. 9-354. Improper printing of ballot.

Sec. 9-355. Official neglect or fraud.

Sec. 9-356. Neglect to elect grand jurors.

Sec. 9-357. Fraudulent registration.

Sec. 9-358. False swearing before registrar, moderator, board or State Elections Enforcement Commission.

Sec. 9-359. Absentee ballots.

Sec. 9-359a. False statement in absentee balloting. Class D felony.

Sec. 9-360. Fraudulent voting.

Sec. 9-361. Primary or enrollment violations.

Sec. 9-362. Decision of election officials no bar to prosecution.

Sec. 9-363. Circulation of misleading instructions.

Sec. 9-364. Influencing elector to refrain from voting.

Sec. 9-364a. (Formerly Sec. 9-344). Acts prohibited in elections, primaries, referenda, caucuses and conventions. Penalties.

Sec. 9-364b. Restrictions on incumbents’ use of public funds.

Sec. 9-365. Employers’ threats.

Sec. 9-366. Interference with electors in voting.

Sec. 9-367. Tampering with ballot or voting tabulator.

Sec. 9-368. Arrest of accused.

Secs. 9-368a and 9-368b. Transferred

Sec. 9-368c. Misrepresentation of contents of a petition.


Sec. 9-349. Unlawful sessions of board for admission. Section 9-349 is repealed.

(1949 Rev., S. 1120; 1953, S. 826d; P.A. 83-391, S. 23, 24.)

Sec. 9-350. Failure to warn election. Any person whose duty it is to warn any election and who fails to warn such election as required by law shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars.

(1949 Rev., S. 1118; 1953, S. 827d.)

Sec. 9-351. Delay in counting or declaring vote. Any moderator of any election or voting district who, wilfully and without cause, delays the counting or declaration of the number of votes cast shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned not less than six months nor more than one year.

(1949 Rev., S. 1119; 1953, S. 828d.)

Sec. 9-352. Tampering with tabulator by election official. Any election official who, with intent to cause or permit any voting tabulator to fail to correctly register all votes cast thereon, tampers with or disarranges such tabulator in any way or any part or appliance thereof, or causes such tabulator to be used or consents to its being used for voting at any election with knowledge of the fact that the same is not in order, or not perfectly set and adjusted to correctly register all votes cast thereon, or who, for the purpose of defrauding or deceiving any elector or of causing it to be doubtful for what candidate or candidates or proposition any vote is cast, or causing it to appear upon such tabulator that votes cast for one candidate or proposition were cast for another candidate or proposition, removes, changes or mutilates any ballot shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

(1949 Rev., S. 1220; 1953, S. 829d; P.A. 87-382, S. 36, 55; P.A. 11-20. S. 19.)

History: P.A. 87-382 deleted references to “ticket”; P.A. 11-20 replaced “machine” with “tabulator” and “ballot label” with “ballot” and deleted language re description of the ballot label on a machine, effective May 24, 2011.

See Sec. 9-367 re penalty for tampering with voting tabulator applicable to persons who are not election officials.

Sec. 9-353. False return. Any election official who, at the close of the polls, purposely causes the vote registered on the tabulator to be incorrectly taken down as to any candidate or proposition voted on, or who knowingly causes to be made or signed any false statement, certificate or return of any kind, of such vote, or who knowingly consents to any such act, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years or both.

(1949 Rev., S. 1221; 1953, S. 830d; P.A. 11-20, S. 1.)

History: Pursuant to P.A. 11-20, “machine” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “tabulator”, effective May 24, 2011.

Sec. 9-354. Improper printing of ballot. Any person who prints or causes to be printed upon any official ballot the name of any person not a candidate of a party whose name is printed at the head of the column containing such nominees or who prints or causes to be printed any authorized ballot in any manner other than that prescribed by the Secretary of the State shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or be imprisoned not more than five years or be both fined and imprisoned.

(1953, S. 831d; P.A. 11-20, S. 1.)

History: Pursuant to P.A. 11-20, “ballot label” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “ballot”, effective May 24, 2011.

Sec. 9-355. Official neglect or fraud. Any person who, without reasonable cause, neglects to perform any of the duties required of him by the laws relating to elections or primaries and for which neglect no other punishment is provided, and any person who is guilty of fraud in the performance of any such duty, and any person who makes any unlawful alteration in any list required by law, shall be fined not more than three hundred dollars or be imprisoned not more than one year or be both fined and imprisoned. Any official who is convicted of fraud in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by any law relating to the registration or admission of electors or to the conduct of any election shall be disfranchised. Any public officer or any election official upon whom any duty is imposed by part I of chapter 147 and sections 9-308 to 9-311, inclusive, who wilfully omits or neglects to perform any such duty or does any act prohibited therein for which punishment is not otherwise provided shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than three years or both.

(1949 Rev., S. 1121, 1217; 1953, S. 832d; P.A. 80-432, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 80-432 added application to primaries.

Registrars failing to make lists are subject hereto. 64 C. 160. Implied that certificate is lawful authority for holding person, though no express provision in section. 140 C. 496.

Sec. 9-356. Neglect to elect grand jurors. Section 9-356 is repealed.

(1949 Rev., S. 508; 1953, S. 833d; 1961, P.A. 15, S. 4.)

Sec. 9-357. Fraudulent registration. Any person who fraudulently procures himself or another to be registered as an elector shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or be both fined and imprisoned.

(1949 Rev., S. 1029; 1953, S. 834d.)

Sec. 9-358. False swearing before registrar, moderator, board or State Elections Enforcement Commission. Any person who, upon oath or affirmation, legally administered, wilfully and corruptly testifies or affirms, before any registrar of voters, any moderator of any election, primary or referendum, any board for admission of electors or the State Elections Enforcement Commission, falsely, to any material fact concerning the identity, age, residence or other qualifications of any person whose right to be registered or admitted as an elector or to vote at any election, primary or referendum is being passed upon and decided, shall be guilty of a class D felony and shall be disfranchised.

(1949 Rev., S. 1126; 1953, S. 835d; P.A. 05-235, S. 8; P.A. 06-196, S. 57.)

History: P.A. 05-235 applied section to testimony or affirmation before State Elections Enforcement Commission, added “primary or referendum” and substituted “guilty of a class D felony” for “imprisoned not more than two years”, effective July 1, 2005; P.A. 06-196 made technical changes, effective June 7, 2006.

Cited. 29 CS 305.

Sec. 9-359. Absentee ballots. Any (1) person who executes an absentee ballot for the purpose of informing any other person how he votes, or procures any absentee ballot to be prepared for such purpose, (2) municipal clerk or moderator, elector appointed to count any absentee ballot or other person who wilfully attempts to ascertain how any elector marked his absentee ballot or how it was cast, (3) person who unlawfully opens or fills out, except as provided in section 9-140a with respect to a person unable to write, any elector’s absentee ballot signed in blank, (4) person designated under section 9-140a who executes an absentee ballot contrary to the elector’s wishes, or (5) person who wilfully violates any provision of chapter 145, shall be guilty of a class D felony.

(1949 Rev., S. 1149; 1953, S. 836d; P.A. 74-96, S. 8, 9; P.A. 86-179, S. 45, 53; P.A. 95-177, S. 4, 7.)

History: P.A. 74-96 deleted “subject to the penalties provided in section 9-306” and substituted “guilty of a class D felony”, effective January 1, 1975; P.A. 86-179 made technical changes; P.A. 95-177 divided section into Subdivs., added Subdiv. (4) re certain persons designated under Sec. 9-140a and made technical changes, effective January 1, 1996.

Sec. 9-359a. False statement in absentee balloting. Class D felony. (a) A person is guilty of false statement in absentee balloting when he intentionally makes a false written statement in or on or signs the name of another person to the application for an absentee ballot or the inner envelope accompanying any such ballot, which he does not believe to be true and which statement or signature is intended to mislead a public servant in the performance of his official function.

(b) False statement in absentee balloting is a class D felony.

(P.A. 74-96, S. 1, 9.)

Sec. 9-360. Fraudulent voting. Any person not legally qualified who fraudulently votes in any town meeting, primary, election or referendum in which the person is not qualified to vote, and any legally qualified person who, at such meeting, primary, election or referendum, fraudulently votes more than once at the same meeting, primary, election or referendum, shall be fined not less than three hundred dollars or more than five hundred dollars and shall be imprisoned not less than one year or more than two years and shall be disfranchised. Any person who votes or attempts to vote at any election, primary, referendum or town meeting by assuming the name of another legally qualified person shall be guilty of a class D felony and shall be disfranchised.

(1949 Rev., S. 1122, 1125; 1953, S. 837d; P.A. 82-176, S. 1, 3; P.A. 05-235, S. 9; P.A. 06-196, S. 58.)

History: P.A. 82-176 amended section to add prohibition against fraudulent voting in primaries, against voting in primaries by assuming the name of another and against voting more than once at a town meeting or primary; P.A. 05-235 added references to “referendum”, made a technical change and substituted “legally qualified person shall be guilty of a class D felony” for “who is registered or enrolled, as the case may be, shall be fined five hundred dollars and be imprisoned one year”, effective July 1, 2005; P.A. 06-196 made technical changes, effective June 7, 2006.

Complaint describing offense in the language of statute is sufficient. 38 C. 400.

Sec. 9-361. Primary or enrollment violations. The following persons shall be guilty of primary or enrollment violations: (1) Any person unlawfully voting or participating or attempting to vote or participate in any primary in which he is not eligible to vote or participate; (2) in towns divided into voting districts, any elector who registers or votes at any primary in a voting district other than the district in which such elector is legally entitled to vote at the time of such primary; (3) any elector who signs the name of another to a written application to register, without the knowledge and consent of the person whose name is signed thereto, or who falsely represents the contents of any written or printed form of application for enrollment with intent to secure the application of an elector for enrollment upon a list other than that of his true political preference; (4) any registrar or deputy registrar of voters who fails to hold sessions as provided in sections 9-51 and 9-53 or who fails to register an elector upon the oral or written application for enrollment of such elector, except as provided by law, or who fails to erase an elector’s name as provided in section 9-59 or who registers any elector upon an enrollment list other than that declared by such elector in his application as his political preference, or who removes or erases the name of any elector from any enrollment list except as provided by law; (5) any person who fails to properly serve any notice or citation required by sections 9-60 and 9-61 when directed so to do by any registrar or deputy registrar, or who makes any false return as to any such notice or citation; and (6) any moderator of a primary of the enrolled electors of a specified party, such primary being legally called for the nomination of candidates for any public elective office, who fails to comply with the requirements of chapter 153. The penalty for any such violation shall be a class D misdemeanor, except that any person found to have violated subdivision (1) or (2) of this section shall be guilty of a class D felony and shall be disfranchised.

(1949 Rev., S. 1186; 1953, June, 1955, S. 838d; November, 1955, S. N114; P.A. 87-509, S. 12, 24; P.A. 03-241, S. 16; P.A. 05-235, S. 10; P.A. 12-80, S. 118.)

History: P.A. 87-509, in Subdiv. (1), substituted “in which he is not eligible to vote or participate” for “of a political party other than that of the political party with which he has been enrolled”; P.A. 03-241 eliminated provision applying Subdiv. (6) to primary called for election of delegates to any political convention and made a technical change, effective January 1, 2004, and applicable to primaries and elections held on or after that date; P.A. 05-235 added “, except that any person found to have violated subdivision (1) or (2) of this section shall be guilty of a class D felony and shall be disfranchised”, effective July 1, 2005; P.A. 12-80 changed penalty for any violation other than a violation of Subdiv. (1) or (2) from a fine of not more than $100 or imprisonment of not more than 60 days or both to a class D misdemeanor.

See Sec. 9-372 for applicable definitions.

Sec. 9-362. Decision of election officials no bar to prosecution. The decision of the board for admission of electors or of the registrars or of a moderator, as to a person’s right to be admitted to the elector’s oath, to registration or to cast his vote, shall, in no case, be a bar to a criminal prosecution for procuring himself to be made an elector or to be registered or for voting, without the qualifications required by law.

(1949 Rev., S. 1115; 1953, S. 839d.)

Sec. 9-363. Circulation of misleading instructions. Any person who, with intent to defraud any elector of his or her vote or cause any elector to lose his or her vote or any part thereof, gives in any way, or prints, writes or circulates, or causes to be written, printed or circulated, any improper, false, misleading or incorrect instructions or advice or suggestions as to the manner of voting on any tabulator, the following of which or any part of which would cause any elector to lose his or her vote or any part thereof, or would cause any elector to fail in whole or in part to register or record the same on the tabulator for the candidates of his or her choice, shall be guilty of a class D felony.

(1949 Rev., S. 1222; 1953, S. 840d; P.A. 11-20, S. 1; P.A. 12-193, S. 1.)

History: Pursuant to P.A. 11-20, “machine” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “tabulator”, effective May 24, 2011; P.A. 12-193 changed penalty from a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment of not more than 5 years or both to a class D felony and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 9-364. Influencing elector to refrain from voting. Any person who, with intent to disenfranchise any elector, influences or attempts to influence by force or threat, bribery or corrupt, fraudulent or deliberately deceitful means any elector to stay away from any election shall be guilty of a class D felony.

(1949 Rev., S. 1123; 1953, S. 841d; P.A. 12-193, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 12-193 added provision re intent to disenfranchise an elector, inserted “by force or threat, bribery or corrupt, fraudulent or deliberately deceitful means” and changed penalty from a fine of not more than $500 and imprisonment of not more than 1 year or less than 3 months to a class D felony, effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 9-364a. (Formerly Sec. 9-344). Acts prohibited in elections, primaries, referenda, caucuses and conventions. Penalties. Any person who influences or attempts to influence by force or threat the vote, or by force, threat, bribery or corrupt means, the speech, of any person in a primary, caucus, referendum convention or election; or wilfully and fraudulently suppresses or destroys any vote or ballot properly given or cast or, in counting such votes or ballots, wilfully miscounts or misrepresents the number thereof; and any presiding or other officer of a primary, caucus or convention who wilfully announces the result of a ballot or vote of such primary, caucus or convention, untruly and wrongfully, shall be guilty of a class C felony.

(1949 Rev., S. 1162; 1953, S. 821d; P.A. 74-189, S. 10, 24; P.A. 81-467, S. 7, 8; P.A. 82-176, S. 2, 3; P.A. 12-193, S. 3.)

History: P.A. 74-189 added “referendum” to subject matter of prohibited influences or attempts, changed penalty from a fine between $25 and $100 to a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year of both; in 1977 Sec. 9-344 transferred to Sec. 9-364a; P.A. 81-467 deleted reference to voting more than once or casting more than one ballot at a time; P.A. 82-176 added words “or election”; P.A. 12-193 changed penalty from a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 1 year or both to a class C felony, effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 9-364b. Restrictions on incumbents’ use of public funds. Section 9-364b is repealed.

(P.A. 78-153, S. 30, 32; P.A. 84-437, S. 3, 4.)

Sec. 9-365. Employers’ threats. Any person who (1) during the period that is sixty days or less prior to any election, municipal meeting, school district election or school district meeting, attempts to influence the vote of any operative in his or her employ by threats of withholding employment from him or her or by promises of employment, or (2) dismisses any operative from his or her employment on account of any vote he or she has given at any such election or meeting shall be guilty of a class D felony.

(1949 Rev., S. 1116; 1953, S. 842d; P.A. 12-193, S. 4.)

History: P.A. 12-193 added Subdiv. designators (1) and (2), changed penalty from a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500 or imprisonment of not less than 6 months or more than 12 months or both to a class D felony and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 9-366. Interference with electors in voting. Any person who induces or attempts to induce any elector to write, paste or otherwise place, on a ballot, or a table or booth used for voting, any name, sign or device of any kind, as a distinguishing mark by which to indicate to another how such elector voted, or enters into or attempts to form any agreement or conspiracy with any person to induce or attempt to induce electors or any elector to so place any distinguishing mark on such ballot, table or booth, or attempts to induce any elector to do anything with a view to enabling another person to see or know for what persons or any of them such elector votes, or enters into or attempts to form any agreement or conspiracy to induce any elector to do any act for the purpose of enabling another person or persons to see or know for what person or persons such elector votes, or attempts to induce any person to place himself or herself in such position, or to do any other act for the purpose of enabling him or her to see or know for what candidates any elector other than himself or herself votes, or himself or herself attempts to get in such position to do any act so that he or she will be enabled to see or know how any elector other than himself or herself votes, or does any act which invades or interferes with the secrecy of the voting or causes the same to be invaded or interfered with, shall be guilty of a class D felony.

(1949 Rev., S. 1219; 1953, S. 843d; P.A. 87-382, S. 37, 55; P.A. 11-20, S. 1; P.A. 12-193, S. 5.)

History: P.A. 87-382 deleted references to “ticket”; pursuant to P.A. 11-20, “machine” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “tabulator”, effective May 24, 2011; P.A. 12-193 changed “write-in ballot” to “ballot”, replaced provision re voting tabulator with provisions re table or booth, changed penalty from imprisonment of not more than 5 years to a class D felony and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2012.

Sec. 9-367. Tampering with ballot or voting tabulator. Any person, not being an election official, who, with intent to cause or permit any ballot, voting tabulator or other appliance used in connection with such tabulator to fail to correctly register any vote cast upon such ballot, tabulator or other appliance, during any election or before any election, tampers with a voting tabulator, disarranges, defaces, injures or impairs the same in any manner, or mutilates, injures or destroys any ballot or any other appliance used in connection with such tabulator, shall be guilty of a class C felony.

(1949 Rev., S. 1218; 1953, S. 844d; P.A. 11-20, S. 22; P.A. 12-193, S. 6.)

History: P.A. 11-20 added language re intent and made section applicable to tampering with a ballot, voting tabulator or other appliance, rather than a voting machine or ballot label, effective May 24, 2011; P.A. 12-193 changed penalty from imprisonment of not more than 5 years to a class C felony, effective July 1, 2012.

See Sec. 9-352 re penalty for tampering with voting tabulator by election official.

Sec. 9-368. Arrest of accused. Upon the written complaint of any three electors of a town in which a violation of any law relating to elections has occurred to any judge of the superior court for the judicial district within which the offense has been committed, supported by oath or affirmation that the complainants have good reason to believe and do believe that the allegations therein contained are true and can be proved, such judge shall issue a warrant for the arrest of the accused.

(1953, S. 845d; 1959, P.A. 28, S. 167; P.A. 74-183, S. 187, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 163, 681; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127.)

History: 1959 act transferred jurisdiction to issue warrant from trial justice to circuit court judge; P.A. 74-183 changed “circuit court for the circuit” to “court of common pleas for the county or judicial district”, effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 76-436 changed “court of common pleas” to “superior court”, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 78-280 deleted “county or”.

Cited. 21 CS 445.

Secs. 9-368a and 9-368b. Transferred to Chapter 141, Secs. 9-7a and 9-7b, respectively.

Sec. 9-368c. Misrepresentation of contents of a petition. (a) No person shall intentionally misrepresent the contents of a petition circulated under title 9.

(b) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a class D felony.

(P.A. 87-530.)