Tedious three and a half hours and then a bombshell

The Committee on Contested Elections had its 1st day of testimony yesterday.  Two registrars, a moderator, and a deputy registrar and then a bombshell.

This article almost captures it, but not quite: Committee hears testimony of Stratford ballot bungle<read>

The clerk who gave the man who raised the red flag the incorrect ballot—and likely handed out the others too—was a 16-year-old high school student, too young to vote herself. State law sets 16 as the minimum age to serve as an election official.

Starratt, the moderator at Bunnell on Election Day, said the teen handed out the wrong ballots. The girl was not subpoenaed to testify.
Ballot clerk Peter Rusatsky, 61, testified Friday he saw the girl “on the verge of tears” that afternoon…

Starratt, who has been a moderator since 2000, said he gave specific directions to all the clerks in a group meeting before polls opened on the morning of Election Day…

Rusatsky testified that he was the first to arrive at the polling place that morning and he received no training of any kind on Election Day or before.

“I didn’t even understand there were two separate districts,” he said. “I was just told what my job was. That’s what I did. There was zero—no instruction—to the ballot clerks to check any numbers in the corner of that ballot.

The registrars spent lots of time in their testimony explaining how they emphasized in training that eight of the ten polling places had two districts and that every pack of ballots should be checked by the ballot clerks that it was in the right district. The Moderator emphasized that he trained all the ballot clerks in the morning before the polling place opened. They also highlighted that they are two of the ten trainers for the state, responsible for delivering Moderator Certification classes.

Starratt said he had never been in a polling place before that day, presumably never even voting? He was recruited two days before and had no pre-election training. That is a clear violation of state law which requires that every polling place official receive such training before every election. Even late recruits are often brought in for an hour or two of one-on-one training to fulfill that requirement.

CT-N has the <video>


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