LYME/OLD LYME — Setting the Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Building Referendum on Tuesday, Nov. 8 — the same day as the state elections — has, in Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold’s words (sent via text), been, ” … very complicated with, I believe, five lawyers working out the details.” Those details were required to be filed with the State of Connecticut today.
Griswold went on to explain, “Electors will vote on the candidates by ballot and on the school referendum question (yes/no ballot) in the same room,” but, “Qualified voters who are not electors may vote only on the referendum question in a separate room.”
Lyme Selectman John Kiker similarly confirmed by text, “… regular voting will be in [Lyme] town hall and the referendum voting will be in the [Lyme Public] library.”
Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser noted by email that Lyme-Old Lyme Schools are sending out a Fact Sheet to all Lyme and Old Lyme residents and property owners next week, which, along with additional information on the referendum, will help to clarify the difference between ‘electors’ and ‘qualified voters.’
The Fact Sheet explains that an ‘elector’ is any registered voter in either Lyme or Old Lyme.
It then goes on to state that, “A qualified voter who is not an elector is any citizen of the United States of the age of 18 years or more who, jointly or severally, is liable to the Town of Lyme or Town of Old Lyme for taxes assessed against him or her of not less than $1,000 on the last completed grand list of the Town, or who would be so liable if not entitled to an exemption under subdivision (17), (19), (22), (25) or (26) of Section 12-81 of the Connecticut General Statutes, and is not an elector (registered voter) of the Towns of Lyme or Old Lyme.”
This difference between the two is significant as qualified voters (who cannot vote in the state elections in Lyme or Old Lyme because they are registered to vote elsewhere) must by state statute physically vote at a location at least 75 ft. from that of registered voters.
Therefore, in Old Lyme:
- ‘Electors’, i.e., registered voters, will vote in both the state election and on the school building referendum in the LOL Middle School Gym.
- ‘Qualified voters’ (who are not electors) will vote solely on the LOL Schools Building Referendum in the LOL Middle School Cafeteria.
Meanwhile in Lyme:
- ‘Electors’, i.e., registered voters, will vote in both the state election and on the LOL Schools Building Referendum at Lyme Town Hall.
- ‘Qualified voters’ (who are not electors) will vote solely on the LOL Schools Building Referendum in the Lyme Public Library.
Regarding the unusual need for two polling locations in both Lyme and Old Lyme, Griswold stressed, “The Registrars must man and equip the two separate voting locations in each town,” noting, “The school will be responsible for the costs related to the school referendum.”
The ballot question for the LOL Schools Building Referendum will read as detailed below and and then ask for a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ response.
“Shall the resolution appropriating and authorizing bonds in the amount of $57,555,000, of which it is expected that an estimated $9,775,000 shall be reimbursed by the State of Connecticut, for the planning, design, demolition, construction, renovation, equipping and furnishing of Mile Creek School, Center School, Lyme Consolidated School and Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School and related costs, be approved?“
Two public meetings will be held in advance of the $57.6 million LOL Schools Building Referendum on respectively Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m. at Lyme School, and Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. at Mile Creek School.
Polls will be open in both towns on Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
For more information on the referendum, the Fact Sheet will urge voters to visit www.region18.org and look for the “Referendum” tab at the top of the home page, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-434-7238.