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SUMMARY: This act modifies state election laws affecting, among other things, registrars of voters, the secretary of the state, voter registration, candidate endorsements and nominations, election returns, and post-election audits. It also authorizes municipalities to enter into agreements to jointly perform election functions.

Principally, the act:

1. requires that registrars of voters be certified;

2. under certain circumstances, authorizes the (a) removal of a registrar from office after an investigation and hearing or (b) secretary of the state to temporarily relieve a registrar of his or her duties;

3. explicitly requires that the secretary of the state's written regulations, declaratory rulings, instructions, and opinions be implemented, executed, or carried out;

4. requires the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) to complete investigations resulting from complaints the secretary files on alleged election law violations within 90 days after receipt;

5. subject to certain conditions, allows the secretary of the state, in consultation and coordination with UConn, to authorize the use of electronic equipment to conduct post-primary and post-election audits;

6. establishes an in-district residency requirement for petitioning, write-in, and minor party candidates;

7. requires registrars to notify the secretary no later than seven days after receiving primary petition pages for a municipal office candidate running in a state election;

8. changes several deadlines associated with canvassing election returns and submitting the official results to the secretary;

9. moves the mail-in voter registration deadline from 14 to seven days before an election;

10. allows U. S. citizens ages 16 or 17 to be appointed as ballot clerks;

11. requires that voter ID requirements be displayed in each polling place; and

12. exempts registrars of voters and deputy registrars from jury duty during the 21 days before and after each federal, state, or municipal election, primary, or referendum (§ 33).

The act makes several minor, technical, and conforming changes. For example, it eliminates certain obsolete references to “permanent assistant registrar of voters,” and “special assistant registrar of voters” (§§ 1, 2, 7, & 8). It also makes technical corrections to statutes governing how candidates' names appear on the ballot so that they conform to changes made by PA 11-173, which authorized all candidates to determine how their names appear on the ballot (§§ 19 & 20).

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage, except that provisions on municipal office endorsements by major parties, residency requirements, and invalid nominations are effective January 1, 2016.

§§ 1, 2, 4 & 5 — REGISTRARS OF VOTERS

§§ 1 & 2 — Training and Certification

Under prior law, registrars of voters and deputy registrars could opt to become certified by voluntarily participating in a training course developed by a six-member committee. The committee consists of the secretary of the state, a representative from SEEC, and four registrars of voters whom the secretary appoints in consultation with the Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut.

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