LETTER: Vote against use of private grant for Greenwich Registrar of Voters

Submitted by (See list below)

Our town’s Registrars of Voters want to accept a $500,000 grant from Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), a private non-profit corporation and a $9,600 grant for membership in the U.S Alliance for Election Excellence, which is affiliated with CTCL. If the RTM approves this grant next Tuesday, it will expose our town election officials and process to controversy and integrity questions. While we commend our Registrars of Voters for their excellent work, the RTM should reject this grant outright and keep private money out of influencing our elections.

Elections are a function of our federal, state and local governments. In Connecticut, regulation and funding of our elections has always been under state and local governmental control with no private funding organizations being involved. Private organizations do not have to follow the laws and regulations that public employees and municipalities need to follow. These organizations are also not required to hold public hearings, are not subject to FOI requests or any of the checks and balances our state and town provides in elections. 

If funds are needed by our town registrars they should make their requests through the regular budget process just like every other town department. This will maintain the integrity of the election process. The reason every town and city has two registrars of voters – one Democrat and one Republican – is to ensure elections are fair and objective. Mixing private funds into the election process, no matter how benign any organization claims to be, does nothing to maintain the appearance of elections being fair and objective.

24 states and twelve counties in the US have passed laws prohibiting the use of private grants by Registrars of Voters since 2020.  A major reason for this is that once private funds are accepted and introduced into elections the effect can be to diminish voter confidence in the integrity of the election process.  Accepting private funding into Greenwich’s election process raises at a minimum the appearance of political partisanship and influence by outside interest groups. Do we need even more friction between various political parties or factions, each vying to inject money and influence to “improve” our elections and its process?  Before consideration or acceptance of any private funds related to elections, we believe the Town should adopt a policy requiring any grant to go through a clearly defined process that evaluates the proposed funding, its sources, the specific needs for the funding, and the potential for any “Strings Attached” issues.

Rejecting this grant will ensure that our elections are kept fair and objective and that the citizens of Greenwich continue to have faith in the integrity of the results. RTM members need to vote “NO” and reject the non-profit grant offered by CTCL. Our citizens’ confidence in the integrity of our elections depends on it! 


RTM Members & Greenwich Residents:

Marianna Ayres

Robert Allen

Mike Brescia (D9)

Marybelle & George Case

Adele Carroll (D8)

Allyson Cowin (D10)

Laura Darrin (D10)

Alice Duff (7)

Nancy Burke (D2)

Duncan Burke

Anne Driscoll (D10)

Phil Dodson (D8)

Kimberly Fiorello 

Sunghi Frauen (D7)

Dana Francks

Dean Gamanos

Dean Goss (D1)

Hilary Haroche (D10)

Ramya Hopley (D10)

John Hopley (D10)

Steve Katz (D10)

Brian Malin (D9)

Joe Montanaro

Paul Olmsted (D6)

Martha Ozizmir Shoemaker (D5)

Nancy Ozizmir

Kara Philbin (D10)

Debbie Kolman(D10)

Janet & Steve Lockton

Roger Lourie

Lucia Jansen(D7)

Betsy McCaughey

Veronica Musca

Tom Nacinovich

Wilma Nacinovich (D2)

Roz Nicastro (D3)

Fred Lorthoir (D12)

Bill Lewis (D1)

Wynn McDaniel (D7)

Henry Orphys (D7)

Alex Popp  (D4)

Margaret Quigley

Peter Quigley (D1)

John Raben

Cheryl Resnick

Kimberly Salib (D11)

Jane Sprung (D10)

Valerie Stauffer (D7)

Peter Tesei

Christina Vanderlip

Carol Zarrilli (D9)

Christina Volkwein (D2)