SEEC Dismisses Complaint Against Poll Worker in New Canaan


State officials on Wednesday dismissed a complaint regarding a poll worker stationed at New Canaan High School on Election Day last year.

The Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission voted 4-0 during its regular meeting to dismiss the complaint lodged Feb. 14 by Christina Fagerstal and Lisa Hannich—current and immediate past chairs, respectively, of the New Canaan Democratic Town Committee.

In it, the complainants said that poll worker Allison Totaro on Nov. 2 at least five times “used her position to intentionally influence the vote by telling voter[s] that as a ‘Republican they were only to vote for 4 candidates’ when in fact a voter had the opportunity to vote for up to 6 candidates regardless of their party affiliation.”

“Witness testimony as set forth in the affidavits clearly confirm this was a violation of election law and the 2013 Moderator handbook guidelines,” the complaint said. “In addition to the misinformation, the Moderator failed to remove the Respondent from the polling location.”

The SEEC took up the matter in March and voted in favor of investigating it. During the SEEC’s regular meeting this week, Commission Attorney William Smith said, “Based on the Commission’s consideration of this matter, and the facts after investigation, and after applying General Statutes 9-363 and 9-355 it would appear after investigation that allegations regarding law violations were not supported by the facts and law, and therefore I’m asking that the Commission adopt a dismissal by findings and conclusions.”

SEEC Chair Stephen Perry, Vice Chair Michael Ajello and Commissioners Shannon Bergquist and Gregory Piecuch voted in favor of the dismissal. Commissioner Andrew Cascudo was absent.

News broke on Election Day regarding a reported irregularity at the NCHS polling place. The RTC in a statement issued even before polls closed that day said the accusations regarding Totaro were “at worst an attempt to steal the election, or at very least to cast doubt on the results” as well as “categorically false.”

The most closely contested race last year was for the Board of Education, where Republicans retained the four seats they already held, though by far slimmer margins than in recent years. In the race for four-year BOE terms, for example, the Republicans won by an average of 191 votes over their Democratic opponents in 2021, compared to a 435-vote average differential in 2019, and 730-vote average differential in 2017.

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