Substitute Senate Bill No. 908 Substitute Senate Bill No. 908 PUBLIC ACT NO. 95-177 AN ACT PROMOTING THE INTEGRITY OF THE ABSENTEE BALLOT PROCESS. Section 1. Section 9-140 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: (a) Application for an absentee ballot shall be made to the clerk of the municipality in which the applicant is eligible to vote or has applied for such eligibility. [The municipal clerk shall maintain a log of all absentee ballot applications provided under this subsection, indicating the name and address of each person to whom applications were provided and the number provided to each such person. Such log shall be preserved as a public record as required by section 9-150b. Whenever a municipal clerk provides an application for an absentee ballot to any person, such clerk shall, in the spaces provided, sign or affix his stamp to the application.] Any person who [obtains] ASSISTS ANOTHER PERSON IN THE COMPLETION OF an application [from a municipal clerk for the use of another person] shall, [at the time he receives the application and] in the space provided, sign [or affix his signature stamp to] the application and print or type his name, RESIDENCE ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER. Such [signatures or stamps] SIGNATURE shall be made under the penalties of false statement in absentee balloting. THE MUNICIPAL CLERK SHALL NOT INVALIDATE THE APPLICATION SOLELY BECAUSE IT DOES NOT CONTAIN THE NAME OF A PERSON WHO ASSISTED THE APPLICANT IN THE COMPLETION OF THE APPLICATION. The municipal clerk shall not distribute with an absentee ballot application any material which promotes the success or defeat of any candidate or referendum question. The application shall be signed by the applicant under the penalties of false statement in absentee balloting [,] on (1) the form prescribed and provided by the secretary of the state pursuant to section 9-139a, [or on] (2) a form provided by any federal department or agency if applicable pursuant to section 9-153a, or [on] (3) any of the special forms of application provided for in section 9-150c, 9-153a, 9-153b, 9-153d, 9-153e, 9-153f or 9-158d, if applicable. Any such absentee ballot applicant who is unable to write may cause the application to be completed by an authorized agent who shall, in the spaces provided for the date and signature, write the date and name of the absentee ballot applicant followed by the word "by" and his own signature. IF THE BALLOT IS TO BE MAILED TO THE APPLICANT, THE APPLICANT SHALL LIST THE BONA FIDE PERSONAL MAILING ADDRESS OF THE APPLICANT IN THE APPROPRIATE SPACE ON THE APPLICATION. (b) A municipal clerk may transmit an application to a person under this subsection by facsimile machine. If a municipal clerk has a facsimile machine, an applicant may return a completed application to the clerk by such a machine, provided the applicant shall also mail the original of the completed application to the clerk, either separately or with the absentee ballot that is issued to the applicant. If the clerk does not receive such original application by the close of the polls on the day of the election, primary or referendum, the absentee ballot shall not be counted. [(b) If the ballot is to be mailed to the applicant he shall list his bona fide personal mailing address in the appropriate space on the application.] (c) The municipal clerk shall check the name of each absentee ballot applicant against the last-completed registry list and any supplementary registry lists on file in the municipal clerk's office. If the name of such applicant does not appear on any of such lists, the clerk shall send such applicant a notice, in a form prescribed by the secretary of the state, to the effect that (1) the applicant's name did not appear on the list of electors of the municipality at the time the application was processed, and (2) unless the applicant is admitted or restored as an elector of the municipality by the applicable cutoff dates an absentee ballot will not be mailed to him. Such notice shall not be so mailed if, prior to the mailing of the notice, the registrars provide the clerk with reliable information showing the absentee ballot applicant to be an elector of the municipality. (d) An absentee voting set shall consist of an absentee ballot, inner and outer envelopes for its return, instructions for its use, and if applicable, explanatory texts concerning ballot questions, as provided for in sections 2-30a and 9-369b. No other material shall be included with an absentee voting set issued to an applicant except as provided in sections 9-153e and 9-153f or where necessary to correct an error or omission as provided in section 9-153c. (e) Upon receipt of an application, the municipal clerk shall, unless a notice is mailed to the applicant pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, write the serial number of the outer envelope included in the absentee voting set to be issued to the applicant in the space provided for that purpose on the application form. Sets shall be issued to applicants in consecutive ascending numerical order of the envelope serial numbers, and the clerk shall keep a list of the numbers indicating beside each number the name of the applicant to whom that set was issued. The list shall be preserved as a public record as required by section 9-150b. [, for a period beginning on the day absentee voting sets are first issued under subsection (f) of this section and expiring in accordance with said section.] (f) Absentee voting sets shall be issued beginning on the thirty-first day before an election and the twenty-first day before a primary or, if such day is a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, beginning on the next preceding business day. (g) On the first day of issuance of absentee voting sets the municipal clerk shall mail an absentee voting set to each applicant whose application was received by the clerk prior to that day. When the clerk receives an application during the time period in which absentee voting sets are to be issued he shall mail an absentee voting set to the applicant, within twenty-four hours, unless the applicant submits his application in person at the office of the clerk and asks to be given his absentee voting set immediately, in which case the clerk shall comply with the request. Any absentee voting set to be mailed to an applicant shall be mailed to the bona fide personal mailing address shown on the application. Issuance of absentee voting sets shall also be subject to the provisions of subsection (c) of this section, section 9-150c and section 9-159q, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 2 OF THIS ACT, concerning persons designated to deliver or return ballots in cases involving unforeseen illness or disability and supervised voting at certain health care institutions. (h) No absentee ballot shall be issued on the day of an election or primary, or after the opening of the polls on the day of a referendum, except in cases involving unforeseen illness or disability or presidential or overseas ballots as provided in section 9-150c and sections 9-158a to 9-158m, inclusive. (i) The municipal clerk shall file executed applications in alphabetical order according to the applicants' surnames. [and such] SUCH applications shall be preserved as a public record as required by section 9-150b. [, for a period beginning on the day absentee voting sets are first issued under subsection (f) of this section and expiring in accordance with said section.] (j) No person shall pay or give any compensation to another and no person shall accept any compensation solely for (1) distributing absentee ballot applications obtained from a municipal clerk or the secretary of the state or (2) assisting any person in the execution of an absentee ballot. Sec. 2. Section 9-159q of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: (a) AS USED IN THIS SECTION: (1) INSTITUTION MEANS A VETERANS' HEALTH CARE FACILITY, HOME FOR THE AGED, HEALTH CARE FACILITY FOR THE HANDICAPPED, NURSING HOME, REST HOME, MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY, ALCOHOL OR DRUG TREATMENT FACILITY OR AN INFIRMARY OPERATED BY AN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION FOR THE CARE OF ITS STUDENTS, FACULTY AND EMPLOYEES; AND (2) "DESIGNEE" MEANS AN ELECTOR OF THE SAME TOWN AND POLITICAL PARTY AS THE APPOINTING REGISTRAR OF VOTERS WHICH ELECTOR IS NOT AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INSTITUTION AT WHICH SUPERVISED VOTING IS CONDUCTED. [(a)] (b) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to the contrary, if less than twenty of the patients in any institution in the state are electors, absentee ballots voted by such electors shall, upon request of either registrar of voters in the town of such electors' voting residence or the administrator of such institution, be voted under the supervision of such registrars of voters or their designees in accordance with the provisions of this section. The registrars of voters of a town other than the town in which an institution is located may refuse a request by the administrator of such institution when, in their written opinion, the registrars agree that such request is unnecessary, in which case this section shall not apply. Such registrars shall inform the administrator and the town clerk of the electors' town of voting residence of their refusal. [For the purposes of this section, "institution" means a veterans' health care facility, home for the aged, health care facility for the handicapped, nursing home, rest home, mental health facility, alcohol or drug treatment facility or an infirmary operated by an educational institution for the care of its students, faculty and employees.] [(b)] (c) Except as provided in subsection [(d)] (e) of this section, such request shall be made in writing and filed with the town clerk and registrars of voters of the town of such electors' voting residence, not more than forty-five days prior to an election or thirty-four days prior to a primary and not later than the seventh day prior to an election or primary. The request shall specify the name and location of the institution and the date and time when the registrars of voters or their designees shall supervise the casting of absentee ballots at the institution. The request shall also specify one or more alternate dates and times when supervised voting may occur. No request shall specify a date or an alternate date for supervised voting which is later than the last business day before the election or primary. [(c)] (d) The town clerk shall not mail or otherwise deliver an absentee ballot to an applicant who is a patient in any institution if a request for supervision of absentee balloting at that institution has been filed with the clerk during the period set forth in subsection [(b)] (c) of this section. The clerk shall instead deliver such ballot or ballots to the registrars of voters or their designees who will supervise the voting of such ballots in accordance with this section. [(d)] (e) Except in the case of a written refusal as provided in subsection [(a)] (b) of this section, upon receipt of a request for supervision of absentee balloting during the period set forth in subsection [(b)] (c) of this section, the registrar or registrars of voters who received the request shall inform the registrar or administrator who made the request and the town clerk as to the date and time when such supervision shall occur, which shall be the date and time contained in the request or the alternate date and time contained in the request. If the registrar or registrars fail to select either date, the supervision shall take place on the date and time contained in the request. If a request for supervision of absentee balloting at an institution is filed during the period set forth in subsection [(b)] (c) of this section and the town clerk receives an application for an absentee ballot from a patient in the institution after the date when supervised balloting occurred, either registrar of voters may request, in writing, to the appropriate town clerk and registrars of voters that the supervision of the voting of absentee ballots at such institution in accordance with this section be repeated, and in such case the registrars or their designees shall supervise absentee balloting at such institution on the date and at the time specified in the subsequent request, which shall be not later than the last business day before the election or primary. [(e)] (f) On the date when the supervision of absentee balloting at any institution is to occur, the town clerk shall deliver to the registrars or their designees the absentee ballots and envelopes for all applicants who are electors of such clerk's town and patients at such institution. The ballot and envelopes shall be prepared for delivery to the applicant as provided in sections 9-137 to 9-140a, inclusive. The registrars or their designees shall furnish the town clerk a written receipt for such ballots. [(f)] (g) The registrars or their designees, AS THE CASE MAY BE, shall jointly deliver the ballots to the respective applicants at the institution and shall jointly supervise the voting of such ballots. The ballots shall be returned to the registrars or their designees by the electors in the envelopes provided and in accordance with the provisions of sections 9-137, 9-139 and 9-140a. If any elector asks for assistance in voting his ballot, two registrars or their designees of different political parties OR, FOR A PRIMARY, THEIR DESIGNEES OF DIFFERENT CANDIDATES, shall render such assistance as they deem necessary and appropriate to enable such elector to vote his ballot. [If any elector declines to vote a ballot or, in the opinion of two] THE registrars or their designees [of different political parties, is unable to vote] MAY REJECT A BALLOT WHEN (1) THE ELECTOR DECLINES TO VOTE A BALLOT, OR (2) THE REGISTRARS OR THEIR DESIGNEES ARE UNABLE TO DETERMINE HOW THE ELECTOR WHO HAS REQUESTED THEIR ASSISTANCE DESIRES TO VOTE THE BALLOT. WHEN THE REGISTRARS OR THEIR DESIGNEES REJECT a ballot, they shall mark the serially-numbered outer envelope "rejected" and note the reasons for rejection. Nothing in this section shall limit the right of an elector to vote his ballot in secret. [(g)] (h) After all ballots have been voted or marked "rejected" in accordance with subsection [(f)] (g) of this section, the registrars or their designees shall jointly deliver or mail them in the envelopes, which shall be sealed, to the appropriate town clerk, who shall retain them until delivered in accordance with section 9-140c. [(h)] (i) [Either supervising registrar of voters may designate any elector of such registrar's town other than an employee of the institution as his designee to supervise the voting of absentee ballots pursuant to this section. The] WHEN AN INSTITUTION IS LOCATED IN A TOWN HAVING A PRIMARY, THE REGISTRAR IN THAT TOWN OF THE PARTY HOLDING THE PRIMARY SHALL APPOINT FOR EACH SUCH INSTITUTION, ONE DESIGNEE OF THE PARTY-ENDORSED CANDIDATES AND ONE DESIGNEE OF THE CONTESTANTS FROM THE LISTS, IF ANY, SUBMITTED BY THE PARTY-ENDORSED CANDIDATES AND CONTESTANTS. SUCH REGISTRAR SHALL NOTIFY ALL PARTY-ENDORSED CANDIDATES AND ALL CONTESTANTS OF THEIR RIGHT TO SUBMIT A LIST OF POTENTIAL DESIGNEES UNDER THIS SECTION. EACH PARTY-ENDORSED CANDIDATE AND EACH CONTESTANT MAY SUBMIT TO SUCH REGISTRAR IN WRITING A LIST OF NAMES OF POTENTIAL DESIGNEES, PROVIDED ANY SUCH LIST SHALL BE SUBMITTED NOT LATER THAN TEN DAYS BEFORE THE PRIMARY. IF NO SUCH LISTS ARE SUBMITTED WITHIN SAID PERIOD, SUCH REGISTRAR SHALL APPOINT ONE DESIGNEE OF THE PARTY-ENDORSED CANDIDATES AND ONE DESIGNEE OF THE CONTESTANTS. EACH designee APPOINTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION shall be sworn to the faithful performance of his duties, and the registrar shall file a certificate of each designation with his town clerk. [(i)] (j) Any registrar of voters who has filed a request that the absentee balloting at an institution be supervised and any registrar required to conduct a supervision of voting under this section, who neglects to perform any of the duties required of him by this section so as to cause any elector to lose his vote shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Any registrar from the same town as a registrar who has filed such a request may waive his right to participate in the supervision of absentee balloting. [(j)] (k) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, if the spouse or a child of a registrar of voters or a dependent relative residing in the registrar's household is a candidate in the election or primary for which supervised absentee voting is to occur, such registrar shall not supervise such absentee voting but may designate the deputy registrar of voters or an assistant registrar of voters, appointed by the registrar pursuant to section 9-192, to supervise the absentee voting in his place. Sec. 3. Subsection (c) of section 9-159r of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: (c) The supervision of absentee balloting under this section shall be carried out in accordance with the provisions of subsections [(f),] (g), (h), (i) and [(j)] (k) of section 9-159q. Sec. 4. Section 9-359 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: 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, [and any] (2) municipal clerk or moderator, [any] elector appointed to count any absentee ballot [,] or [any] other person [,] who wilfully attempts to ascertain how any elector marked his absentee ballot or how it was cast, [and any] (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 [any] (5) person who wilfully violates any provision of chapter 145, shall be guilty of a class D felony. Sec. 5. Section 9-436 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: (a) Voting machines shall be used at each primary, [;] provided, (1) if, because of the number of offices and positions to be voted upon at a primary, there is an insufficient number of vertical columns on any machine to be used in a municipality, the vote in such municipality at such primary for such offices or positions as the secretary of the state determines shall be taken by paper ballots, [;] and [provided,] (2) if, because of the number of candidates for any office or position to be voted upon at a primary, there is an insufficient number of horizontal rows with respect to such office or position on any machine to be used in the municipality, the vote in such municipality at such primary for such office or position shall be taken by paper [ballot] BALLOTS. More than one voting machine may be used in any voting district if the registrar so prescribes. The registrar shall furnish a number of voting machines sufficient to provide a voting machine for each twelve hundred or fraction of twelve hundred electors eligible to vote at such primary in the municipality or voting district, as the case may be, and other necessary equipment. In each polling place in which a party has authorized unaffiliated electors, pursuant to section 9-431, to vote for some but not all offices to be contested at the primary, a separate voting machine shall be used for such unaffiliated electors and the registrar shall separately furnish one voting machine for each twelve hundred or fraction of twelve hundred enrolled party members and one voting machine for each twelve hundred or fraction of twelve hundred unaffiliated electors authorized to vote at such primary in such district. In determining such number of electors, enrolled party members or unaffiliated electors, the registrar shall not count the names on the enrolment or registry lists of seventy-five per cent of such electors, unaffiliated electors or enrolled party members who reside in institutions, as defined in section 9-159q, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 2 OF THIS ACT. The registrar may provide more than the minimum number of voting machines required by this section. (b) The registrar shall appoint a suitable mechanic or mechanics to prepare, adjust and place the voting machines for use at the primary under the direction of the registrar. A voting machine mechanic shall be deemed a primary official but need not be an elector of any town. (c) Each machine shall be so arranged that the elector may vote for as many persons for nomination or election to each office or position as there are persons to be nominated or elected, as the case may be, and no more, and so that the elector may vote for individual candidates; provided the vote for delegates to conventions shall be by slate, as provided in section 9-443. (d) The registrar shall appoint from among the enrolled party members in the municipality or political subdivision holding the primary, as the case may be, to serve in each polling place, the primary polling place officials, who shall consist of one moderator, two checkers, not more than two challengers if he deems it necessary, and at least one and not more than two voting machine tenders for each machine in use at such primary and, in towns with two or more voting districts at least one and not more than two assistant registrars, provided (1) in the case of a political subdivision holding a primary, if no enrolled party member who resides in the political subdivision and who is a certified moderator consents to serve as a moderator, the registrar may appoint any enrolled party member who resides in the municipality and is a certified moderator to be moderator, (2) in the case of either a municipality or a political subdivision holding a primary, if no enrolled party member can be found or no such person consents to serve as a moderator, the registrar may appoint any elector who resides in the municipality and is a certified moderator to be moderator, (3) in the case of a political subdivision holding a primary, if an insufficient number of enrolled party members who reside in the political subdivision consent to serve as checkers, challengers, voting machine tenders or assistant registrars, the registrar may appoint any enrolled party member who resides in the municipality to be a checker, challenger, voting machine tender or assistant registrar and (4) in the case of either a municipality or a political subdivision holding a primary, if a sufficient number of enrolled party members cannot be found or do not consent to serve in a position described in subdivision (3) OF THIS SUBSECTION, the registrar may appoint any elector who resides in the municipality to any such position. If unaffiliated electors are authorized under section 9-431 to vote for some but not all of the offices to be contested at the primary, the registrar shall appoint two additional checkers to check the list of unaffiliated electors who are authorized to vote on the separate machines. If unaffiliated electors are authorized under section 9-431 to vote in the primary of either of two parties in the same polling place, whether for some or for all offices to be contested at the primary, each such registrar shall appoint two additional checkers to check the list of unaffiliated electors who are authorized to vote in either such primary. (e) The registrar shall designate one of the moderators so appointed by him to be head moderator or shall appoint as head moderator an elector who is not also moderator of a polling place and who shall be deemed a primary official. The registrar may also appoint a deputy head moderator to assist the head moderator in the performance of his duties. A deputy head moderator shall also be deemed to be a primary official. Each registrar's appointments of primary polling place officials AND OF DESIGNEES TO CONDUCT SUPERVISED VOTING OF ABSENTEE BALLOTS PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 9-150q AND 9-150r shall be divided equally, as nearly as may be, between designees of the party-endorsed candidates and designees of one or more of the contestants, provided, if a party-endorsed candidate is a member of a party other than the one holding the primary, such primary officials, except voting machine mechanics, shall be enrolled party members of the party holding the primary. Names of designees and alternate designees for such positions shall be submitted in writing by party-endorsed candidates and contestants to the registrar not later than ten days before the primary, except that names of designees and alternate designees for the position of moderator shall be so submitted not later than twenty-one days before the primary and, if such lists are not so presented, all such appointments shall be made by the registrar but in the above-mentioned proportion. The registrar shall notify all such candidates and contestants of their right to submit a list of designees under this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the registrar shall appoint as moderators only persons who are certified to serve as moderators or alternate moderators pursuant to section 9-229, unless there is an insufficient number of such persons who are enrolled members of the registrar's party in the municipality or political subdivision holding the primary, in which case the registrar may appoint a new moderator in accordance with section 9-229, but only to the extent of such insufficiency. [The provisions of section 9-258 concerning additional lines of electors at a polling place, and of section 9-258a concerning two shifts of officials at a polling place, shall apply to a primary.] Primary central counting moderators and absentee ballot counters shall also be deemed primary officials. No primary official shall perform services for any candidate at the primary on primary day. [Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the provisions of the general statutes relating to the use of voting machines at regular elections shall apply as nearly as may be to the use of voting machines at primaries.] (f) If paper ballots are required for the vote on any office or position in a municipality, the clerk of the municipality shall print a paper ballot for use in such primary for nomination to such office or election to such position. The secretary of the state shall prescribe the form of such paper ballot. The secretary of the state may prescribe general rules for the use of paper ballots in any primary, including the duties of officials at the polls with regard to the same, the marking of the same and the counting of the same. The procedure to be followed when paper ballots are so used shall conform, as nearly as may be, to the procedure applicable to voting machines provided in this chapter and to the law governing the use of paper ballots in regular elections and such rules shall have the force and effect of law. CHAPTER 54 SHALL NOT APPLY TO RULES MADE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. (g) THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 9-258 CONCERNING ADDITIONAL LINES OF ELECTORS AT A POLLING PLACE, AND OF SECTION 9-258a CONCERNING TWO SHIFTS OF OFFICIALS AT A POLLING PLACE, SHALL APPLY TO A PRIMARY. EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THIS CHAPTER, THE PROVISIONS OF THE GENERAL STATUTES RELATING TO THE USE OF VOTING MACHINES AT REGULAR ELECTIONS SHALL APPLY AS NEARLY AS MAY BE TO THE USE OF VOTING MACHINES AT PRIMARIES. Chapter 54 shall not apply to rules made under this section. Sec. 6. Subsection (h) of section 9-150b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: (h) For sixty days after the election, primary or referendum the following shall be preserved by the municipal clerk as a public record open to public inspection: (1) All executed absentee ballot application forms and direction by registrar forms, as required by subdivision (i) of section 9-140; [(2) the log of applications issued as required by subsection (a) of section 9-140; (3)] (2) the list and index of applicants for presidential or overseas ballots as required by section 9-158h; [(4)] (3) the numerical list of absentee voting sets issued as required by subsection (e) of section 9-140; [(5)] (4) the list of the names of persons whose absentee ballots are received by the clerk, as required by subsection (a) of section 9-140c; [(6)] (5) all unused absentee ballots; and [(7)] (6) all envelopes containing ballots received by the clerk after the close of the polls, which shall remain unopened. Sec. 7. This act shall take effect January 1, 1996.