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Elections Bill Inspired By Easton's Problems Moves Forward

State Rep. John Shaban represents Easton, Weston and portions of Redding in the Connecticut General Assembly.
State Rep. John Shaban represents Easton, Weston and portions of Redding in the Connecticut General Assembly. Photo Credit: File

EASTON, Conn. – State Rep. John Shaban’s bill to make election scheduling easier in unusual circumstances will be up for a vote soon, his office said.

The bill would allow towns to schedule special elections later than the state-mandated deadline if a regular municipal election is scheduled for within 30 days of the deadline. The current state guidelines would force towns to hold separate elections, even if they are days apart.

“This common sense measure is designed to save money, time and expense, while preserving citizens’ right to petition for a special election,” Shaban said in a statement.

The proposal was inspired by Easton’s experience last fall. Residents petitioned for a special election following the appointment of interim treasurer Wendy Bowditch. Because of the timing of the petition, the special election had to be held less than two weeks before the general election Nov. 6.

The additional election cost Easton nearly $4,000 to pay for workers and other expenses, Easton Town Clerk Derek Buckley said earlier this year. “Easton incurred both the expense and difficulty of having to manage the absentee and other ballots for two almost simultaneous elections,” he said.

The House of Representatives held a public hearing on the bill in February. There Buckley and the Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut publicly supported the bill.

The Government Administration and Elections Committee voted unanimously to move the bill out of committee and to the full House of Representatives for debate in April. Shaban expects the bill to come up for a vote in both houses before the end of the legislative session.

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