WALLINGFORD, CT — Wallingford Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. has been instructed by the Secretary of the State’s office to place at least one ballot drop box outside of Town Hall, according to the Meriden Record-Journal.
Unlike nearby municipalities such as Cheshire, Meriden and Southington, Wallingford planned to keep its ballot collection boxes inside Town Hall. Those municipalities each received two ballot drop boxes through the federal CARES Act as the state expands absentee ballot use for next month's primary election during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dickinson previously told the Record-Journal he planned to keep the drop boxes inside Town Hall due to security and vandalism concerns. Dickinson this week reopened Town Hall to the public to conduct business. The exterior doors at Town Hall had been locked since March 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Critics have said keeping the ballot boxes inside Town Hall limits accessibility to the public to only weekday business hours.
Deputy Secretary of the State Scott Bates said in a letter to Dickinson that the office has “grave concerns” about his “unwillingness to protect the health and safety of your voters” by providing them with a “safe and trusted” method of contactless delivery of their absentee ballots, the Record-Journal reports.
Read more at the Meriden Record-Journal here.