Report by Paula Antolini, June 6, 2020, 5:58PM EDT
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“Many years ago, the Secretary of the State (SOTS) required that Registrars create an Emergency Plan for dealing with foreseeable emergencies during an election. It was required to be approved by the Selectmen. This plan was created by the prior Registrars. SOTS has asked Registrars to update their Emergency Plans as well as develop a Safe Polls Plan for the August Primary. Since the original EmergencyPlan required Board of Selectmen approval, we submitted our revised plan for their approval. As required by SOTS, we submitted our Safe Polls Plan to the Health Dept for comment. We will finalize it on Monday but the Safe Polls Plan is only required to be signed by the First Selectman before we submit it to SOTS.”
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NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING / BOARD OF SELECTMAN
Monday, June 8, 2020 7:00 p.m.
Video/ Teleconference video link:
Materials can be viewed at (or below):
A G E N D A
1) Call to order/Pledge of Allegiance
2) Consideration of approval of regular meeting minutes June 2, 2020
3) Consideration of Emergency Plan for Elections
4) Consideration of appointment of special counsel (executive session anticipated)
EMERGENCY CONTINGENCY PLAN FOR ELECTIONS
TOWN OF BETHEL, CONNECTICUT
The Registrars of Voters train Poll Workers and assigned them duties for each Election or Referendum. Each worker commits to the assigned work shift and duties.
The Registrars maintain a list of additional trained workers if needed in an emergency. If a Poll Worker is unable to fulfill their duties on Election Day, the Registrars will contact someone fromthe list of back up Poll Workers to fill that position.
Moderators have the discretion of changing poll workers positions/duties as needed.
Moderators and Assistant Registrars with the support of the Registrars prepare the polling place on the day before an Election. All aspects of safety are inspected, including exits and secure areas.
Polling locations are located in a local School, Fire Station Community Room and the Municipal Center. In the event a polling place became unavailable on the day of a vote, Town and School Administration would work with Registrars to secure space. If the room where the Polling Place is located becomes unusable and another room in that building is available, the Registrars would relocate the Polling Place to that room. The Registrars would utilize signs and election officials to direct voters to the new location. If the entire building that normally contains the polling place becomes unusable, another building would be secured as an emergency polling
place. Again, proper signage and staff would be available to direct voters to the new location.
A list of phone numbers for all polling locations and officials is given to each Moderator. A contact person from maintenance is readily available.
Each Polling location is equipped with a backup tabulator in the event of a malfunction. The auxiliary bin would be used until the tabulator is back in service.
Town is equipped with reverse emergency telephoning for the entire town. Emergency personnel are readily available to assist any weather or other emergency situation. Poll workers can be assisted by local police for transportation to the polls if necessary. The Registrars will contact the First Selectmen to coordinate the phone notification.
In the event of any disruptive situation, the Moderator would contact the local Police Department or Fire Department, if necessary.
LOSS OF POWER
Emergency generators are available in each building used as a polling location. Local officials are on call and would be able to secure additional generators if necessary. Flashlights are kept with supplies in each location. For two Polling Places, the emergency generators would power the entire building including the Polling locations. In the third, a School, the emergency generator powers part of the building, including lights and electric plugs for the Polling location.
If an emergency occurs that forces an evacuation, the Moderator will perform the following: Alert all individuals in the polling location of the situation and direct them to safety. Get a headcount of poll workers and use this headcount to make certain everyone present is evacuated safely from the polls.
The Moderator would secure voting equipment according to their certification training procedures. Depending upon the severity of the emergency, the Checkers will exit the polling place with the Poll Books. The Ballot Clerks will exit with the unused ballots. The Moderator will secure the tabulator and notify the Registrars of the emergency. The Moderator will keep in close contact with first responder officials to determine if polls can be re-entered. Polling officials would resume duties and voters would be allowed to re-enter. If an alternate location is necessary, the Registrars will provide poll workers and voters with the address of the emergency polling place and post on entry doors address of new location. Additional Election officials can be stationed to direct voters to the new location.
Moderators must keep an hourly check on the number of voters crossed off and of the ballots used or spoiled. If running short, the Moderator will notify the Registrars of Voters who will obtain all unused absentee ballots from the Town Clerk and deliver them to the polling place. If additional ballots are needed, The Registrars will make photocopies of blank ballots and bring to polling location. All such absentee ballots and photocopied ballots must be placed in the auxiliary bin of the Ballot Box for hand counting.
Moderators in charge at each polling location will have their handbooks with them for reference.