Countdown to Election Day

Branford residents are taking seriously the message to Get Out and Vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6. At least that’s evident in the traffic at the Registrar of Voters office.

Deputy Registrar of Voters Nora Vetrano reports that as of Oct. 2, there were 20,161 registered voters in Branford. She said she’s definitely seen an uptick in the number of registrations. “It’s really been busier than during the presidential elections.” She added that a lot of young people have been registering.

Vetrano said that the office is doing the best they can to vet everyone. Per state law, voters receive two letters before they are declared inactive.

The breakdown is as follows: Democrats, 6,908 (7,020 in November 2017); Republicans, 3,671 (3,768 in November 2017); Unaffiliated, 9,351 (9,836 in November 2017); Other parties, 231 (187 in November 2017) for a total of 20,161. There were 20,809 registered voters in November 2017.

Vetrano said the decrease can be attributed to people moving out of town or dying. She said they’ve been inputting notices from the state, but not actually tracking the changes.

A limited voter registration session takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, for registering in person with the Registrars of Voters at 40 Kirkham St. The session is for those whose qualifications as to age (become 18 years of age), U.S. citizens, or those who became Branford residents since Oct. 30, 2018.

Candidates on the Ballot

Branford voters will cast their votes for the following state offices:

Governor and Lieutenant Governor:
Ned Lamont and Susan Bysiewicz (Democratic Party and Working Families Party); Bob Stefanowski and Joe Markley (Republican Party and Independent Party); Rodney Hanscomb and Jeffrey Thibeault (Libertarian Party); Mark Stewart Greenstein and Michelle D. Ambrosio (AMiGO* Constitution Liberty Party); Oz Griebel and Monte E. Frank (Griebel Frank for CT Party)

U.S. Senator:
Christopher S. Murphy (Democratic Party and Working Families Party); Matthew Corey (Republican Party); Richard Lion (Libertarian Party); Jeff Russell (Green Party)

Secretary of the State:
Denise Merrill (Democratic Party and Working Families Party); Susan Chapman (Republican Party and Independent Party); Heather Lynn Sylvestre Gwynn (Libertarian Party); S. Michael DeRosa (Green Party)

Treasurer:
Shawn Wooden (Democratic Party and Working Families Party); Thad Gray (Repub. Party) & (Ind. Party); Jesse Brohinsky (Libertarian Party)

Comptroller:
Kevin Lembo (Democratic Party and Working Families Party); Kurt Miller (Republican Party and Independent Party); Paul Passarelli (Libertarian Party); Edward G. Heflin (Green Party)

Attorney General:
William Tong (Democratic Party and Working Families Party); Sue Hatfield (Republican Party and Independent Party); Peter D. Goselin (Green Party)

Branford voters will also elect state representatives and a state senator. Robin Comey (Democrat) and Robert Imperato (Republican) are vying for the 102nd District seat being vacated by Democrat Lonnie Reed.

Christine Cohen (Democrat) and Adam Greenberg (Republican) are running for the 12th District state senate currently held by Democrat Ted Kennedy Jr.

Democrat Sean Scanlon is running unopposed for the 98th District seat (covering part of Branford and Guilford).

Two Questions on the Ballot

Amid all the campaigns, it’s important to note that voters will vote on two questions, one on the Transportation Lockbox Fund and the other limiting the transfer of state properties by the General Assembly to non-state entities. A Yes vote indicates approval of the measures.

Here’s how the first question appears on the ballot:
Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to ensure (1) that all moneys contained in the Special Transportation Fund be used solely for transportation purposes, including the payment of debts of the state incurred for transportation purposes, and (2) that sources of funds deposited in the Special Transportation Fund be deposited in said fund so long as such sources are authorized by statute to be collected or received by the state?

In simple language, a Yes vote preserves the state’s Special Transportation Fund (STF), also known as the Lockbox amendment as a permanent fund. It requires that the fund be used exclusively for transportation purposes, which include paying transportation-related debt; and that any funding sources directed to the STF by law continue to be directed there, as long as the law authorizes the state to collect or receive them.

The second question concerns state property and appears on the ballot like this: Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to require (1) a public hearing and the enactment of legislation limited in subject matter to the transfer, sale or disposition of state-owned or state-controlled real property or interests in real property in order for the General Assembly to require a state agency to sell, transfer or dispose of any real property or interest in real property that is under the custody or control of the agency, and (2) if such property is under the custody or control of the Department of Agriculture or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, that such enactment of legislation be passed by a two-thirds vote of the total membership of each house of the General Assembly?

A yes vote stipulates that a legislative committee must first hold a public hearing to allow for public comment on the property transfer; and that the legislation must address only the property under consideration. The bill also says that property that belongs to the state Department of Agriculture or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the legislation must pass by at least two-thirds of the membership of the state House of Representatives and of the state Senate.

Where to Vote in Branford

Each of Branford’s seven polling locations for the primaries will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
District 1:  The Branford High School Old Gym, 185 East Main St. (changed from the Branford Community House to due to construction).
District: 2: St. Therese Church, 105 Leetes Island Road.
District 3: Orchard House, 421 Shore Drive.
District 4: Fire Headquarters, 45 North Main St.
District 5: Indian Neck School, 14 Melrose Place.
District 6: Mary T. Murphy School, 14 Brushy Plains Road.
District 7: Mary R. Tisko Elementary School Gym, 118 Damascus Road (changed from the Walsh Intermediate School due to construction).

For more information, go to the town’s Registrars of Voters website or call 203-483-3998.

Thanks to the League of Women Voters East Shore for providing some of the information here.

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