Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 440

    February Session, 2018

House Bill No. 5420

House of Representatives, April 12, 2018

The Committee on Government Administration and Elections reported through REP. FOX of the 148th Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the bill ought to pass.

AN ACT REQUIRING ADDITIONAL POLLING PLACES AT INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION DURING STATE ELECTIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 9-169 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The legislative body of any town, consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough may divide and, from time to time, redivide such municipality into voting districts. The registrars of voters of any municipality taking such action shall provide a suitable polling place in each district but, if the registrars fail to agree as to the location of any polling place or places, the legislative body shall determine the location thereof. Polling places to be used in an election shall be determined at least thirty-one days before such election, and such polling places shall not be changed within said period of thirty-one days except that, if the municipal clerk and registrars of voters of a municipality unanimously find that any such polling place within such municipality has been rendered unusable within such period, they shall forthwith designate another polling place to be used in place of the one so rendered unusable and shall give adequate notice that such polling place has been so changed. The registrars of voters shall keep separate lists of the electors residing in each district and shall appoint for each district a moderator in accordance with the provisions of section 9-229 and such other election officials as are required by law, and shall designate one of the moderators so appointed or any other elector of such town to be the head moderator for the purpose of declaring the results of elections in the whole municipality. The registrars may also designate a deputy head moderator to assist the head moderator in the performance of his duties provided the deputy head moderator and the head moderator shall not be enrolled in the same major party, as defined in subdivision (5) of section 9-372. The selectmen, town clerk, registrars of voters and all other officers of the municipality shall perform the duties required of them by law with respect to elections in each voting district established in accordance with this section. Voting district lines shall not be drawn by a municipality so as to conflict with the lines of congressional districts, senate districts or assembly districts as established by law, except (1) as provided in section 9-169d and (2) that as to municipal elections, any part of a split voting district containing less than two hundred electors may be combined with another voting district adjacent thereto from which all and the same officers are elected at such municipal election. Any change in the boundaries of voting districts made within ninety days prior to any election or primary shall not apply with respect to such election or primary.

(b) In addition to the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of this section, (1) the legislative body of any town, consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough within which an institution of higher education is located shall divide such municipality so as to provide at each state election a separate voting district containing such institution, provided such institution shall have (A) reported to the United States Department of Education, in the year prior to such state election, a twelve-month, full-time equivalent enrollment in excess of three thousand at any campus of such institution, and (B) notified, not later than January first of the year of such state election, the registrars of voters of such municipality in which any such campus is located, and (2) the registrars of voters of any municipality described in subdivision (1) of this subsection shall provide a suitable polling place at, or not more than five hundred feet from, such institution but, if the registrars fail to agree as to the location of such polling place, the legislative body shall determine the location thereof.

(c) The provisions of this section shall prevail over any contrary provision of any charter or special act.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

9-169

GAE

Joint Favorable

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact: None

Municipal Impact:

Municipalities

Effect

FY 19 $

FY 20 $

Various Municipalities

STATE MANDATE - Cost

See Below

See Below

Explanation

The bill requires municipalities to establish a separate voting district where certain higher education institutions are located under certain circumstances.

To the extent municipalities qualify for a separate voting district, there would be costs associated with hiring and training additional election day staff, possibly purchasing additional equipment, and hiring additional police.

The Out Years

The annualized ongoing fiscal impact identified above would continue into the future subject to the number of separate voting districts in a municipality.

OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5420

AN ACT REQUIRING ADDITIONAL POLLING PLACES AT INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION DURING STATE ELECTIONS.

SUMMARY

This bill requires the legislative body of any municipality in which certain public or private nonprofit higher education institutions are located to establish a separate voting district containing the institution for state election years. (It is unclear whether or to what extent the voting district may also contain surrounding areas).

The requirement applies to institutions with more than 3,000 full-time equivalent students at any campus, based on data the institution reported to the U.S. Department of Education in the year before the state election. The bill does not require that the students reside on the campus (see BACKGROUND). Under the bill, the municipality's registrars of voters must provide a suitable polling place within 500 feet of the institution provided the institution notifies the registrar of voters by January 1 in a state election year.

If the registrars fail to agree on a location, existing law, unchanged by the bill, requires that the municipality's legislative body do so. Under the bill, all of the other existing requirements and procedures applicable to voting districts and polling places apply. Among other things, this means that the registrars must (1) designate the polling place at least 31 days before the election, (2) keep a separate registry list of electors residing in the district, and (3) appoint a district moderator and other required election officials.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

BACKGROUND

Reporting Enrollment

Federal law generally requires higher education institutions, as a condition of receiving federal funding for certain student assistance programs, to annually report enrollment data through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System survey (20 U.S.C. 1094(a)(17)). The 12-month enrollment is the unduplicated headcount of any student used to estimate full time equivalent enrollment during a July 1 through June 30 reporting period.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Government Administration and Elections Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

9

Nay

8

(03/23/2018)

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