Selectmen set policy for voter validation

BEACON FALLS — The Board of Selectmen last week approved a new policy to require the registrars of voters to validate and check in voters at town meetings.

The town hasn’t always validated whether people are qualified to vote at a town meeting, but the selectmen feel it’s in the town’s best interest to do it. The practice has become more prevalent over recent years, and the responsibility to check voters has fallen to the registrars of voters.

Democratic Registrar Katherine Grace questioned the practice and didn’t attend a June 5 town meeting on the 2019-20 municipal budget to check voters.

This led to a difference of opinions over what state statutes say about who would be responsible to validate voters at a town meeting. Ultimately, the Board of Selectmen has broad statutory authority to administer the business of the town and used that authority to set the policy.

First Selectman Christopher Bielik said the policy clarifies any questions as to who is responsible to validate voters at town meetings. He said the policy leaves it up to the registrars to administer how to check voters.