Municipal officials recently approved a request from the Town Clerk to allocate additional funds for specialized print materials after the town spent more money on ballots than it had in years past.
In the past, town officials have tried to estimate just how many printed ballots would be needed for each election, “but since we ran out of ballots once or twice we wanted to err on the side of caution” for the 2022 election, according to Town Clerk Claudia Weber.
“Previously, to not waste money—because ballots can be expensive—we would say ‘Well what’s the turnout in a general election? What’s the turnout for a presidential election?’ and we would guesstimate, ‘Well we probably need about 80% or we need 70% [of the total electorate],’ ” Weber told members of the Board of Selectmen during their regular meeting, held May 16 at Town Hall and via videoconference. “And this last time we just said ‘110%—we’re not going to run out of anything.’ ”
As a result, the Town Clerk’s office spent its budget for print materials such as meeting minute books ($195 apiece), vital records paper ($300) and vital records binders ($390), Weber said.
“We use specialized paper and we’ve been having trouble sourcing it as well,” she said.
So the Town Clerk’s office requested the transfer of $4,000 from its advertising account to bolster its budget for Adkins Printing, the New Britain-based company that does all of New Canaan’s ballot printing.
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of the funding request. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the request would need to go to the Board of Finance, as well.
The selectmen asked whether the town is increasing the number of ballots it prints (no).
The fiscal year 2023 budget for Adkins was $10,000, Weber said, and the Town Clerk’s office likely would’ve come in under that number had the town not ordered the additional ballots for last year’s general election (a purchase order placed at the request of the registrars’ office, officials said).