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Midterms Put Candidates And Questions Before Newtown Voters



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The November midterm elections are almost here, and on November 6, local voters are being called to the polls to not only endorse the candidates of choice, but to weigh in on one local and two statewide ballot questions.

Polling locations will be open next Tuesday between 6 am and 8 pm.

Campaigns with candidates who will represent Newtown in the state General Assembly include 112th District incumbent Republican State Representative JP Sredzinski, who is running unopposed. His district overlaps a number of neighborhoods in southern Newtown near and along the Monroe border.

Similarly, incumbent Republican Judge of Probate Daniel O’Grady, whose jurisdiction includes Newtown, appears on local ballots although he is running unopposed.

The 2nd House District, which includes several neighborhoods along the Bethel and Redding Town borders, features a rematch from two years ago between incumbent GOP Rep Will Duff and Democratic challenger Raghib Allie-Brennan.

Newtown’s 106th District has incumbent Republican Rep Mitch Bolinsky being challenged by Democratic Board of Education Vice Chair Rebekah Harriman-Stites. And the 28th State Senate District, which includes all of Newtown, has incumbent Republican Senator Tony Hwang being challenged by Fairfield Democrat Michelle Lapine McCabe.

Because of a number of cross endorsements:

*All Newtown voters will also find Sen Hwang’s name appearing on the Independent party line, and Ms McCabe’s name on the Working Families party line;

*Ms Harriman-Stites’ name also appears on the Working Families party line;

*In the 2nd District, Rep Duff is cross endorsed by the Independent Party, and Mr Allie-Brennan is cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party.

Newtown’s November 6 ballot also has a number of candidates qualified for office and running under the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, The Amigo Constitution Liberty Party, and it includes Newtown resident Monte Frank who is the Lieutenant Governor candidate for gubernatorial hopeful Oz Griebel on the Griebel Frank for CT Party line. There are also blanks in each race for write-ins.

Ballot Questions

The Newtown ballot will ask local voters to endorse or reject an authorization to bond for a new police headquarters. That measure is endorsed not only by First Selectman Dan Rosenthal, but also by every member of the Newtown Police force, represented in a letter to that effect in today’s edition of the newspaper.

The ballot question appears as follows: “Shall the $14,800,000 appropriation and bond authorization for the construction and development of a new police station, including the acquisition of buildings and land at 191 South Main Street and 61 Peck’s Lane be approved?”

According to added explanatory text provided by the Town Clerk’s Office, approval of this question authorizes the appropriation and bonding of $14,800,000 to acquire land and buildings at 191 South Main Street and 61 Peck’s Lane for approximately $1,600,000 and provides for the design and renovation of an existing approximately 21,200-square-foot building and construction of approximately 4,700 square feet of new space for a total of approximately $13,200,000 to be used as a new police facility.

The two statewide constitutional questions on every Connecticut ballot are related to the state transportation fund and the disposition of state-owned public land or property.

According to explanatory text, if the first amendment on the ballot is approved, it would limit the General Assembly’s ability to pass legislation that requires a state agency to transfer (sell or otherwise convey) any state real property (land or buildings) or property interest to non-state entities by imposing the following conditions:

1. A legislative committee must first hold a public hearing to allow for public comment on the property transfer; and

2. The legislation must address only the property under consideration.

In addition, for property that belongs to the state Department of Agriculture or the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the legislation must pass by at least two-thirds of the membership of the state House of Representatives and of the state Senate.

The Connecticut General Statutes establish various procedures that state agencies must follow to transfer state real property. Alternatively, the General Assembly may transfer property through legislation known as “conveyance bills,” without subjecting the transfers to the statutory procedures.

If the second ballot amendment is approved, it would impose constitutional protections on state transportation funding. These protections, commonly referred to as the “transportation lockbox,” are currently established only in the Connecticut General Statutes.

Specifically, this constitutional amendment, like the statutory lockbox, would do the following:

1. Preserve the state’s Special Transportation Fund (STF) as a permanent fund;

2. Require that the fund be used exclusively for transportation purposes, which include paying transportation-related debt; and

3. Require that any funding sources directed to the STF by law continue to be directed there, as long as the law authorizes the state to collect or receive them.

By law, the STF is a dedicated fund primarily used to finance state highway and public transportation projects as well as operate the Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Transportation.

The law directs a number of revenue sources to the fund, such as state fuel taxes, most transportation-related fees and motor vehicle-related fines, and a portion of state sales and use taxes. STF resources are pledged to secure bonds for transportation projects and must be used first to pay debt service on these bonds.

General Voting Information

Any person who would be eligible to vote and is unable to appear in person for one or more of the reasons set forth in Connecticut General Statutes Section 9-135 may cast his or her vote by absentee ballot.

Qualified absentee voters must attest they are experiencing an illness or physical disability preventing them from reporting to the polls, will be absent from town during voting hours, subscribe to religious practices which forbid secular activity, are involved in active US military service, or serve as an election official at a polling place other than his/her own polling place.

Any person who is eligible to vote by absentee ballot may apply in person or by mail to the Town Clerk of Newtown, as applicable for an absentee ballot for the November 6 midterms. Absentee ballots are available in the Town Clerk’s Office, and the Town Clerk will also be available to process applications and absentee ballots on Saturday, November 3, from 9 am to noon, at Newtown Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street.

All absentee ballots must be returned either in person by close of business the day before the election or by mail. If returned by mail, the ballot must be received by close of polls on Election Day.

Town Clerk Debbie Halstead told The Newtown Bee that the number of absentee applications for this election is at or may exceed the number processed during the last Presidential contest in 2016.

While the last day to register to vote was October 30, The Registrar’s office at Newtown Municipal Center, will open from 9 am to Noon on Monday, November 5, for In-Person voter registration for anyone who turned 18, became a US Citizen, or moved to Newtown between October 31 and November 5. Anyone qualified to register under these criteria must appear in person.

Local voters can cast ballots in Newtown on Election Day depending on the local voting district where they reside:

*District 1 and 1-5 voters report to Newtown Middle School, 11 Queen Street;

*District 2 and 3-2 voters report to Reed Intermediate School, 3 Trades Lane; and

*District 3-1 and 3-5 voters report to Head O’ Meadow School, 94 Boggs Hill Road.

Any questions regarding absentee ballots should be directed to the Town Clerk’s office at 203-270-4210. Direct registration and polling questions to local Registrars at 203-270-4250.

For general Election Day information, visit the Secretary of the State’s site at ct.gov/sots.

Related Coverage

Our endorsements: Newtown's Representation In The Hands Of Voters (State Senator and State Representatives, published November 1, 2018); and Choosing Connecticut's Next Governor (October 25, 2018)

Candidates Rack Up Endorsements — And A Minor Controversy (published November 2, 2018)

General Assembly Candidates Discuss Issues At Political Forum (published October 24, 2018)

Miss Tuesday's Candidates Forum? Watch It Here (published October 24, 2018)

Candidates Pledge To Address Various Pressing Challenges (published October 20, 2018) 

Senate Candidates Stress Experience As Strength (published October 6, 2018)

Senator Hwang, Nonprofits Respond To Campaign Media Brouhaha (August 30, 2018)

Here Is How Newtown's Primary Votes Stacked Up (published August 15, 2018)

SAMPLE BALLOTS for Newtown's voting districts can be viewed here. A map of Newtown's voting districts can be viewed here

Newtown voters will go the polls November 6, in part, to weigh in on three contested statehouse races that feature three Democratic challengers (top from left) Raghib Allie-Brennan for the 2nd House District, Rebekah Harriman-Stites for the 106th House District, and Michelle Lapine McCabe for the 28th Senate District, and three incumbents, (bottom from left) Rep Will Duff (R-2), Rep Mitch Bolinsky (R-106), and Sen Tony Hwang (R-2). — Kendra Bobowick photos
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