Connecticut’s Voter Rolls
Maintaining the Voter RollsConnecticut’s state and local election officials take great pains to maintain clean and accurate voter rolls. The voter roll in Connecticut, although stored centrally (we were one of the first states in the country to have a centralized voter registration database), are maintained locally by the local election officials in each of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns (unlike most states, which administer elections at the county level, Connecticut has no county government).
In Connecticut, the voter rolls are maintained on a bipartisan basis by the local registrars of voters – each town has at least two, one elected from each of the major parties, Republicans and Democrats. The Town Clerks also have a role to play, as they receive death notices. The rolls are maintained according to Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act, the Help America Vote Act, and Title 9, Chapter 143 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
Connecticut is also a member of Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a consortium of 30 states that share information in order to maintain the most accurate up-to-date voter lists possible.
Keeping the Rolls Accurate
Local election officials in each Connecticut town use a variety of sources in order to keep the voter rolls accurate. First, when a Connecticut voter moves within the same town and either registers to vote, or the National Change of Address (NCOA) records indicate they moved within the same town, the registrar of voters in that town makes the change and sends a confirmation letter to the voter.
Relatedly, when a Connecticut voter moves from one Connecticut town to another and registers to vote in the new town, the registrar in the new town pulls the voter off the list of the old town automatically, so no duplicate registrations can be created that way.
Also, when registrars are notified by the DMV that a voter in their town has changed their drivers license address, the registrar removes that voter from the list and informs them that they have been removed by mail.
When Town Clerks receive death notices, or ERIC information from other states indicate a voter has died, those voters are removed from the list. Likewise, when registrars are informed via an election official in another state that a former Connecticut voter has registered to vote in another state, that voter is removed from Connecticut’s voter rolls.
When voters either haven’t voted in four years or ERIC or the NCOA data indicate may have moved out of state, registrars of voters in their towns send a canvass postcard to the voter. If the voter fails to return that canvass postcard within 30 days, they are moved off of the active voter list and onto the inactive voter list (similarly, if a voter registration confirmation letter is returned as undeliverable, the voter is placed on the inactive list).
If a voter is on the inactive list, they must fill out a new voter registration form under penalty of false statement in order to vote. If a voter on the inactive list shows up at their polling place on Election Day, they must fill out a new voter registration form before they are added to the active list and allowed to vote. If a voter on the inactive list returns an absentee ballot application, they must first return a new voter registration form before they are mailed an absentee ballot.
After four years on the inactive list, if the voter has not done anything that resulted in them filling out a new voter registration form and being restored to the active list, the voter is removed from the voter registry.
Questions About the Voter Rolls
If you have further questions about the laws surrounding Connecticut’s Voter Rolls and how state and local election officials are working to make sure those lists are accurate, please contact us at LEAD@ct.gov or at (860) 509-6100.