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Voting Officials are Heading Back to School

Wednesday, September 9, 2015, By Paul Hughes

HARTFORD -- A state-mandated certification course for local registrars of voters officially launches Monday, with classes available via live video feeds at five campuses of the University of Connecticut.

A new state law requires registrars of voters to be certified by July 1, 2017, or face temporary removal from office until they become certified, and the possibility of being barred from holding office.

The cost of certification is estimated at $1,600 a year. Towns and cities will be required to foot the bill. After being certified initially, registrars must receive annual training afterward.

The training requirement is intended to strengthen knowledge of election laws and regulations among registrars of voters, as well as bring greater professionalism among their ranks, said Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill.

“We want there to be a certain standard across the state. Every voter should have the same experience in every town,” she said.

While there had been a push to certify registrars and standardize training for years, a foul-up on Election Day last November helped supporters win over enough state lawmakers to the cause.

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