The Office of the Registrars of Voters administers fair and honest elections for municipal, state, and federal offices. By state law, there are at least two Registrars, one from each of the two major political parties. Greenwich has one Republican and one Democrat Registrar of Voters. Once sworn in, the Registrars provide assistance to all eligible citizens and residents in the Town of Greenwich, regardless of political party affiliation. The department also has two full-time staff employees who are designated as Assistant Registrars.
Cooperation and teamwork has always been a hallmark of the department. It has to be. We are the only department with co-department heads. All decisions are made jointly by the elected Democratic Registrar and a Republican Registrar. To manage the process, the department relied on its own staff, new technologies, and the support of many other departments in town, all of whom help us to accomplish the task of managing 35,000 registered voters, 3 elections, and more than one hundred thousand votes cast in 2012. All in a department with only 2 full-time and three part-time staff.
As stated above, our small department can not accomplish the task of running elections without teamwork from other departments. This year, we were blessed to leverage the skills of many other departments in order to make things happen. To manage the process of identifying the thousands of voters whose State Representatives changed due to a statewide redistricting by the legislature, we relied heavily on the GIS Department. Maps were plotted which allowed us to independently examine every individual property in the areas which were redistricted.
To allow people to look up their voting information, the IT department created a new online application for us, which allows people to check their information at any time of day or night. There is no way we could manage the set-up of any election without all of the members of Building Construction and Maintenance who move our voting equipment to a dozen locations around town, and set up appropriate signage at every polling place. Administrative Services makes hundreds of poll books for us, and has the unenviable task of bumping someone out of a room reservation if a summer primary means we need it for elections or election preparation.
Due to the separation of duties in state statute, we also work extremely closely with the Town Clerk’s office who orders all of our ballots, and coordinates the distribution of thousands of absentee ballots, and this year, hundreds of special Presidential ballots. The Town Clerk and Assistant Town Clerk stay with us right to the bitter end on election night, which can often mean midnight and beyond.
Finally, for the upcoming Presidential election, almost 250 town residents are added to our team as poll workers. They work a 14 to 16 hour day.
Everyone in our office finds their job quite fulfilling. We like to think of ourselves as the “first department”, because with fair and honest elections we elect the individuals who set the priorities that make Greenwich a great place to live and work.
To check on your voter registration, or to get information on registering to vote or applying for an absentee ballot, please visit www.greenwichct.org/vote
Fred A. DeCaro III – Republican Registrar
Sharon B. Vecchiolla – Democratic Registrar