"I registered over 100 new Democratic voters between Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, the last day of registration for the primary," said Liz Steffen, the Democratic Registrar of Voters in Old Saybrook.
Unlike the November 2007 election, when optical scanning technology was first used in Old Saybrook, no ballot tabulator went down.On that Election Day, paper ballots that got damp rubbing against wet raincoats created short-term jams-and subsequent backlogs-in the ballot tabulating machines.But each polling place still had only one tabulator "This primary election was more stressful than normal because we were running two party primaries and had only one vote tabulator," Steffen
commented that new requirements to provide voting options for the blind and disabled increased the set-up and take-down time required at each town polling place."With mechanical lever voting machines, it took just 20 minutes to set up a polling place.Now it takes us two hours for each," said Steffen
."The new optical scanning technology means we have to set up voter privacy booths, with each booth no closer than three feet to the other, install special phone and fax lines for disabled voters, and run power cords for the tabulators," she continued.
Steffen claims that electrical capacity in the Old Saybrook Middle School gymnasium, one of two town polling places, was just barely sufficient to support the new electrical polling place equipment.She
noted that new voting requirements for the blind and disabled require a phone line link to IVS, a firm hired to remotely record a disabled voter's preference and fax back to the polling place a confirmation of the individual's vote.These phone line links must be in place in advance of Election Day and field-tested to assure they work before voting begins.Steffen, a part-time town employee who is elected to the position of Democratic registrar, claims she is owed overtime pay for extra hours spent supporting elections.
The town counters that she
is a salaried part-time staffer not entitled to overtime pay and at no time exceeded a 40-hour workweek, the threshold to reach before overtime pay requirements are triggered.