State officials work together to protect voters’ rights.
“The foundation of our democracy rests on the right to vote, and people should always know that their right to vote is guaranteed by the full force of the law,” said Deputy Secretary of State Scott Bates.
A letter was sent to local election officials and law enforcement authorities detailing measures to protect against voter intimidation.
“It could be someone interfering with your ballot or trying to intimidate you, telling you you can’t vote for this person or that person, or using bribery or coercion,” Bates said.
Those actions are considered illegal, Bates says.
Under Connecticut law, influencing a voter to abstain from voting is a Class D felony. Federal law also offers a protection, called Voter Intimidation. Violators may be fined or imprisoned.
On Election Day, Bates said if you see something, say something. Voters can report any form of disruption to a poll worker or moderator.
“They have a lot of power, moderators are chosen by your local voter registrars and they can call local law enforcement, but they can usually diffuse a situation by being on the scene,” Bates said.
Voters can also report any problems to the Connecticut State Election Commission or the Connecticut Secretary of State.
“This is just a reminder to everybody that we’re here for them,” Bates said.
Despite the warning, Bates said voter tipping is rare. State officials are looking forward to a smooth election.
“Every vote counts. Vote safely and confidently on November 8 and know that your voice will be heard,” said Attorney General William Tong.