Submitted by Winona Mullis, Greenwich
In 2000 I sat down with a young man to count Absentee Ballots during that year’s Presidential Primary. Little did I know that I would be writing a note to reminisce and also to recommend him for re-election as Registrar of Voters some 20 years later.
Together, Fred DeCaro III and I were tasked with hand counting a pile of absentee ballots. It wasn’t our originally assigned stack; it was an additional one given to us because Fred, his first time as a volunteer, had caused a minor ruckus because the counters behind us weren’t double-checking their ballots, and Fred had spotted it and reported it to the AB moderator.
The veteran moderator leaned down and said: “You’re not making any friends in this room.” To which Fred replied, “I didn’t know I was here to make friends. I thought I was here to ensure an accurate count.”
Perhaps as reward, perhaps as punishment, Fred and I were asked to take over the contested ballots and count and recount it ourselves. It was enormous, as there were about 500 ballots, with more than 15 different candidates among all the races. We wound up counting it not once, not twice, but three times, until we were both satisfied that the count was correct.
Fred tells me that experience is what made him begin to study and learn about election administration, until he ran for the first time for Registrar in 2006 and lost; but eventually winning in 2008.
I then worked for Fred for nearly a decade as one of the Assistant Registrars assigned to absentee ballot counting; his desire for accuracy and integrity in the voting process continues to this day. I urge you to cast your ballot for Fred DeCaro III in the upcoming election so he can continue to innovate and make voting easier and secure at the same time.
Editor’s note: Letters to the Editor in support of local candidates in the Nov 3, 2020 election may be submitted to [email protected] for consideration beginning July 15 and with a hard deadline of Oct 26, 2020 at noon.