Voting Absentee? Got Questions? We have answers!

First time voting absentee this year? Want to make sure your vote gets counted? So do we!

The application. Every registered voter received one from the Secretary of the State this year. It had a bar code that was unique to your Voter ID number. If you still have that, you should use that. This is a simple application to REQUEST an absentee ballot. It is NOT the ballot. This year, you can identify COVID-19 as the reason for voting absentee. You can drop that off in the ballot box at the door to the Municipal Center. You can mail it, but it is getting awfully close to the election. You can also call the Town Clerk’s office at 203.270.4210 to bring the application there and complete and turn in your ballot all at once. Please call first though.

The Ballot. Actual ballots were sent out starting 10/2 and many have been returned already. There are very explicit instructions on how to complete your ballot so that it gets counted.

Instructions: The ballot comes with two envelopes: the inner envelope and the outer envelope. Watch this handy video!

Mark your ballot using a black pen.

Please check the district on top right of your ballot and compare it to the district on the return envelope label with your name and address. The district on your label needs to be one of the districts listed on the top right of the ballot. If it is incorrect, please call the Town Clerk.

Place the marked ballot into the INNER envelope. SIGN, DATE, and SEAL the inner envelope.  You’ll notice that this inner envelope has a bar code. That is unique to your ballot.

Place the inner envelope into the OUTER envelope (the mailing envelope), being sure that the Clerk’s address shows through the window. Seal the outer envelope.

We recommend that every voter deliver a completed ballot to the Drop Box located at both doors at the Municipal Center in Fairfield Hills. The door by the Community Center does not have steps. You may mail in your completed ballot, but if it is after October 20th, please use the Drop Box .

Other Answers: The Ballot MUST be turned in before 8:00 PM on Election Day. Why wait until then anyways!

You can see if your ballot was received by checking the Secretary of the State website.

You can still REGISTER TO VOTE and then apply for an absentee ballot

The Town Clerk takes the ballots from the box or mail, each ballot gets logged in and cataloged, then placed in the vault by district.

On the Friday before Election Day, the outer envelopes will get opened and logged. The inner envelopes secured back in the vault by district again.

On Election Day, the inner envelopes will be checked to be sorted by district and then opened and each vote run through the same counting machine you see at the polls.

At 8:00 pm, the Ballot Boxes will be locked or removed and NO ballots will be accepted after 8:00 pm.

Just Wrong

An edited version of this letter will be going to the Newtown Bee.

The Newtown Democratic Town Committee is deeply disturbed by the hurtful letter from Legislative Council member Cathy Reiss. At best, she did not seriously think through the implications and errors of what she was writing, failing to comprehend the offensive and racist nature of such writing. She should apologize.

Author of How to Be an Antiracist, National Book Award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi says, “The heartbeat, historically, of racism has been denial…” Ms. Reiss’ words indicate her denial.

“Systemic (or structural) racism” is defined by NAACP President Derrick Johnson as “the systems and structures that have procedures or processes that disadvantage African Americans.”  

Ms. Reiss claims there can be no systemic racism because “Americans voted for a black man to be president-twice (his name is Barack Obama) and Oprah Winfrey is a billionaire. In 1960, there were several wealthy African Americans in Alabama.” According to Reiss’ logic, there would be no systemic racism in the Jim Crow South. We still see evidence of systems and structures that have disadvantaged Blacks in today’s America. Consider:

  • In 2016, at $171,000, the net worth of a typical white family was nearly ten times greater than that of a Black family ($17,150). (McIntosh, et. al, Examining the Black-White Wealth Gap, Brookings Institute, 2/27/2020).
  • The student loan gap between whites and African Americans has continued to grow: Black college graduates have nearly $25,000 more student loan debt: an average of $52,726 in student debt, compared to $28,006 for the typical White bachelor’s graduate.  (White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans)
  • There is also significant racial disparity seen in higher education. There are serious inequities even among students who do graduate from college. Using federal data on the type of credentials students earn and the majors they study, this analysis finds that, compared with white students, black and Hispanic graduates are far more likely to have attended for-profit colleges and less likely to have attended four-year public or nonprofit institutions. Black and Hispanic graduates also generally have attended institutions that have less money to spend on offering a quality education. And they are significantly underrepresented in important fields such as engineering and education, mathematics and statistics, and the physical sciences. (Libassi, CJ.  The Neglected College Race Gap: Racial Disparities Among College Completers, Center for American Progress, 5/18/2018).
  • In 2019, 9.8% of non-Hispanic whites were uninsured, while 14.8% of Blacks were uninsured. (Rudden, Jennifer,  Percentage of Americans Without Health Insurance by Ethnicity 2010-219, Statista.com).
  • The unemployment and underemployment rates between whites and African Americans remain significant even in prosperous times. From January 1972 to December 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reflected the Black unemployment rate to be twice or more than that of whites.

Painfully, Ms. Reiss excuses the scourge of American slavery with the same traitorous Confederate argument that it was “a world practice since at least 6800 BC.” She proceeds to claim the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement is “more a Marxist movement than a civil rights movement.” Despite loose Marxist roots amongst a few organizers, BLM is a worldwide civil rights movement with the obvious objectives of democratic and constitutional systemic changes for racial equality.

The rest of the quote from Ibram X. Kendi is “…the heartbeat of antiracism is confession, is admission, is acknowledgment, is the willingness to be vulnerable, is the willingness to identify the times in which we are being racist, is to be willing to diagnose ourselves and our policies and our countries. . .to be antiracist is to admit when we are being racist.”

We hope Ms. Reiss and like-minded Newtowners consider these words. Newtown deserves better.

Also please read the following letters from DTC members and friends.

Its Never Too Late by Connie Cooper

Confederate Statues by Richard Eigen

Find Hope and Courage in Activism by Jordana Bloom

A Long Way to Go by Betsy Litt

What Matters by Lea Embree

Lets Move Forward by Jessica Plouffe

Elected Officials Must Set the Bar High by Cara Reilly

Get Activized! Film Screening Event with Eric Stange and Vikiana Petit-Homme

Join us for a free screening of ACTIVIZED (36 min.), followed by a live Q&A with the director/producer, Eric Stange, and March for Our Lives New England regional director, Vikiana Petit-Homme.
 
ACTIVIZED is a short documentary film following eight ordinary Americans who — for the first time in their lives — have left their comfort zones and become involved in gun violence prevention, voting rights and immigrants’ rights. Interweaving their personal stories against the backdrop of the causes they fight for, we experience their motivations, successes and failures, their sacrifices, and victories. Above all, we celebrate these inspiring, courageous citizens for embracing one of the most basic of American traditions – dissent.
 
 
 
Register in advance for this webinar:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mzjmBpwwSbOO7YRQXMIc_A
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
 
More about the film at: https://www.activizedfilm.org

Zooooooooming Meetings

Don’t forget that our meetings are all online and we are using Zoom for the meetings.  Information is on the calendar for the meeting.

We will also be having a special meeting on May 21st at 7:30 to nominate a candidate for the 106th State Representative District, the Democratic Registrar of Voters and Justices of the Peace.   Please contact us for info.  NewtownCTDems@gmail.com

Upcoming events – changes!

Hi friends,

Our meeting this Thursday is going virtual through Zoom.  Please email us at newtownctdems@gmail.com for info if you would like to participate.

Our party on Saturday for St. Patrick’s is cancelled.  Following our First Selectman and the Governor’s leads on social distancing and crowds.

We do not know of any impacted person at this point, but prevention is key.

Congratulations to All

Well, its a been a week since the frenzy of Election Day.  Thinking back to this campaign, we are very proud of our slate of candidates.  We were able to secure 27/31 seats on the various Newtown boards and maintained majority on the Council and Board of Education while splitting the Board of Finance 3-3.

There were two very close calls.  LC District 3 finished in a tie between Alison and Carol for the fourth seat from that district.  If you are not sure about every vote counting, our Registrar and her team of election officials made sure it did.  After only a few hours of sleep, the recount began at 9:30 AM.  It was an impressive effort on behalf of the Registrar’s team and they were very careful with each and every single ballot.  In the end, a vote for Alison was not counted by the machines and she will be taking the final spot on the Legislative Council.  Steve fell short of a return to the Board of Finance by 16 votes.  Your vote matters!  Don’t let it sit idly by.

We are proud of the way our slate ran this year.  We stayed positive and talked about how we could make Newtown a better place for all of us.  It was very disheartening to read the smears and attacks on social media about our candidates and incumbents.   Thankfully, community matters more than lies and misinformation and the voters saw that our slate of volunteers were the type of representation they wanted.

Thanks to all who came out and voted, answered the door when we knocked, the phone when it rang and replied to our texts.  The work begins anew.

‘Tis the Season

The municipal election is just weeks away. Please get to know the DTC candidates and reach out to them with any questions about their candidacy! We have a great team of folks who are stepping up to volunteer to make things a little nicer here in Newtown.

There are many challenges facing our town in the next couple of years, our candidates are coming together as a community to work on behalf of all of us here in the town. Community Matters!

Announcing our Democratic Slate for the Nov 2019 election!

The Newtown Democrats came together on a steamy July evening to elect our candidates for the fall election.  Since the 2017 election, we have accomplished a lot and are ready to keep moving forward.  Dan and Maureen have done a great job and are looking to keep the good things coming!

1st Selectman – *Dan Rosenthal

Board of Selectmen – *Maureen Crick Owen

Board of Education – *Rebekah Harriman-Stites and *John Vouros

Board of Finance – *Keith Alexander, *Steve Hinden, *Ned Simpson and Chris Gardner

Legislative Council District 1 – *Judit DeStefano, *Paul Lundquist, *Chris Eide

Legislative Council District 2 – *Jordana Bloom, *Daniel Honan, Clinton DePaolo

Legislative Council District 3 – *Chris Smith, Carol Walsh, Alison Plante

Planning and Zoning – *Corinne Cox, *Benjamin Toby

Planning and Zoning Alternates – *David Rosen, Andrew Marone

Zoning Board of Appeals – *Ross Carley,  *Prerna Rao

Zoning Board of Appeals Alternates – *Joe Bojnowski, *Christina Paradis

Police Commission – *Joan Plouffe, *Joel Faxon

ETH Board of Managers – *Herb Rosenthal and  *Lisa Schwartz (2 year term to fill vacancy)

Board of Assessment Appeals – *Alex Villamil, Brynn Cullen

Congrats to all our candidates!  Special thanks for all the work the incumbents (*) have done over the past 18 months!