Senator Boucher Applauds GAE Approval Of Polling Place Legislation

March 23, 2010

Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) applauded today’s decision by the General Assembly’s Government Administration & Elections Committee to advance proposed legislation that would permit municipalities to operate fewer polling places for primaries than they do for general elections.

The proposed legislation, Senate BIll 363, An Act Concerning Polling Places For Primaries, was approved by the GAE Committee and is now subject to further legislative action. The bill, of which Senator Boucher is a co-sponsor, would allow municipalities to save money by opening only the number of polling places necessary to accommodate voters in a primary. Senator Boucher testified in favor of the bill before the GAE Committee, pointing out that voter turnout is considerably less for primaries than it is for general elections.

“This bill would give municipalities the flexibility to adjust the number of polling places depending on need. As you know, there are potential municipal savings that could be realized through the elimination of polling locations. They include staffing costs, possible renting costs, transportation of materials to each polling location, and the installation of phone lines for each polling location. In addition, some of my towns are finding it increasingly difficult to fine enough poll workers to properly maintain each polling place, particularly in a low interest election,” said Senator Boucher.

Senator Boucher said she is cautiously optimistic that the General Assembly will pass this legislation this year.

“During these difficult times, we need to offer our towns all the tools necessary to cut costs, and I am grateful for the officials of Ridgefield and Westport who brought this cost saving measure to my attention. Allowing them to operate and pay for fewer polling places for lower turnout primaries would provide a small measure of financial relief that can be passed along to taxpayers,” Senator Boucher added.