Laws and Regulations

The Commission's statutory responsibility is to enforce provisions of state election laws pertaining to elections, primaries and referenda, and the campaign finance there of. With the passage of Public Act 05-5, the Commission's responsibilities were considerably expanded, include the administration and enforcement of the Citizens' Election Program ("CEP"). The CEP provides public campaign grants to qualified candidates for statewide offices and the General Assembly who adhere to expenditure limits and other program requirements. The Commission is also charged with developing and implementing an electronic campaign reporting system (eCRIS).

   2017-2018 Legislative Analysis    2013 Legislative Analysis    2011 Legislative Analysis

Regular Session

Public Act 11-6

An Act Concerning the Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2013, and Other Provisions Relating to Revenue
§ 1 — Appropriates $9,470,279 and $9,195,516 to the Office of Governmental Accountability for fiscal years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, respectively. § 120 — Reduces the required transfer from to the Citizens’ Election Fund to $10.6 million for fiscal year 2011-2012.

Public Act 11-48

An Act Implementing Provisions of the Budget Concerning General Government
§§ 58-76 — Establishes the Office of Governmental Accountability, in which the SEEC is a part. §§ 286-301 — Modifies laws on campaign finance, the Citizens’ Election Program, and the SEEC.

Public Act 11-173

An Act Concerning Revisions to Elections Related Statutes
Changes elections laws affecting voter registry lists, the conduct of primaries and elections, election officials, voting equipment and polling places, post-election procedures, and certain campaign finance forms.
Requires biennial registration of PACs formed by two or more individuals, or for ongoing political purposes, in order to accept lobbyist contributions during the legislative session.

Public Act 11-46

An Act Concerning the Integrity of Elections
§ 2; 4; 5 — Requires registrars of voters to create an emergency contingency plan, submit to the Secretary of the State which polling places will be used, who will moderate them, and how many ballots were ordered for each.
§ 1; 4 — Reduces duration of moderator’s certification from four to two years, and authorizes the Secretary of the State to adopt regulations concerning the moderator certification process.
Authorizes the Secretary of the State to disqualify any moderator on the basis of misconduct, neglect of duty, or incompetence.

Public Act 11-143

An Act Concerning the Presidential Preference Primary
Delays the date of Connecticut’s presidential preference primary from the first Tuesday in February to the last Tuesday in April.
Makes conforming changes to the number of days before the presidential preference primary when the Secretary of the State, candidates, and registrars of voters must complete certain actions.

Public Act 11-20

An Act Concerning the Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2013, and Other Provisions Relating to Revenue
Makes technical, minor, and conforming election law changes to reflect the change from lever to optical scan voting machines, and repeals provisions and procedures made obsolete by this change.
Narrows the circumstances under which a person may be imprisoned for tampering with voting equipment to apply only when a person intends to cause a vote to register improperly.

HJR 25

Resolution Confirming the Nomination of Anthony J. Castagno, of North Stonington, to be a Member of the State Elections Enforcement Commission, to serve a term ending June 30, 2015.

   2010 Legislative Analysis

July Special Session

Public Act 10-1

An Act Concerning Clean Elections

  • Eliminates the reversion clause in PA 05-5, OSS, and replaces it with a severability clause.
  • Eliminates the Citizens’ Election Program's matching grant provisions.
  • Limits the ban on political contributions by lobbyists, their immediate family members, and political committees (known as PACs) they establish or control.
  • Authorizes communicator lobbyists and their immediate family members to give qualifying contributions to participating candidates.
  • Limits the ban on soliciting contributions by lobbyists, state contractors and PACs associated with them.
  • Defines “bundling” and establishes a restriction on bundling contributions.
  • Retains the ban on contributions by state contractors upheld by the appeals court.

June Special Session

Public Act 10-1

An Act Concerning Absentee Voting by Members of the Military and Citizens Living Abroad §§ 35-39 — Absentee Voting by Members of the Military and Citizens Living Abroad

  • Changes state election law to comply with the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, which Congress passed in October 2009.
  • Applies to the November 2010 general election.
  • Allows (1) applications for military and overseas absentee ballots to be issued and returned electronically and (2) military and overseas absentee ballots to be issued electronically.

Regular Session

Public Act 10-2

An Act Concerning Citizens' Election Fund

  • Changes the circumstances under which (1) Public Act 05-5, OSS and any amendments to it become inoperative pursuant to a court ruling and (2) campaign finance laws revert to those in effect prior to that act's passage.
  • Postpones for at least 30 days, rather than seven days, the reversion provisions that are effective when a court injunction occurs during a state election year.
  • Postpones for 15 days, rather than seven days, the reversion provisions that are effective when an injunction occurs before or after an August primary.

Public Act 10-43

An Act Concerning Judicial Branch Powers and Procedures §§ 5-6 — Elections and Primary Complaints

  • Requires a complaint filed with a Supreme Court judge regarding an election or primary to send a copy of the complaint by first-class mail or deliver a copy by hand to the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

Public Act 10-187

An Act Concerning Independent Expenditures

  • Removes prohibition on independent (political) expenditures made by businesses and organizations (e.g., labor unions).
  • Authorizes businesses and organizations to make unlimited independent expenditures.
  • Conforms state law to the U. S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
  • Establishes reporting and attribution requirements for independent expenditures made by businesses and organizations.
  • Independent expenditure reports promoting or opposing a statewide office or legislative candidate must be filed electronically with the State Elections Enforcement Commission within 90 days before a primary or election.

HJR 75
  • Resolution Confirming the Nomination of Stephen Cashman of Windsor to be a Member of the State Elections Enforcement Commission, to serve a term ending June 30, 2015.
   2009 Legislative Analysis
Public Act 09-234

An Act Concerning Changes to Economic Development and Infrastructure Enhancements at the United States Naval Submarine Base - New London

  • Exempts any state contractor working under a contract between the state and the Navy or Defense departments from restrictions on state contractors' political contributions to candidates for state.

Public Act 09-170

An Act Concerning United States Senate Vacancies

  • Eliminates the governor's power to fill U.S. Senate vacancies by appointment and instead requires a special election, with two exceptions.
  • It authorizes the governor to (1) appoint a replacement if there are 50 or more U. S. Senate vacancies among the states and (2) nominate someone to fill a vacancy occurring during the last 14 months of a senator's term, which the General Assembly must confirm.
  • Establishes a procedure for issuing the writs of election and holding the special election and specifies the process for selecting convention delegates to endorse a candidate, holding a convention, and holding a primary if someone challenges the party-endorsed candidate.
  • Electors whose names appeared on the voter registry list compiled for the last regular election prior to the vacancy, or any supplementary list, are eligible to vote in the special election.

Public Act 09-36

An Act Concerning the Voting Rights of Certain Seventeen Year Old Persons

  • Implements the constitutional amendment electors passed during the 2008 election allowing 17 year-olds who will turn 18 on or before the day of a regular election to vote in its primary.

Public Act 09-3 ; Public Act 09-8
  • The June Special Session had increased the late filing fee for campaign treasurers. (Effective October 1, 2009)
  • On October 5, 2009 Governor Rell signed into law Public Act 09-8, An Act Implementing the Provisions of the Budget Concerning Revenue.
  • Section 43 of Public Act 09-8 reverses the increase to late filing fees from $200 back to $100. (Effective October 5, 2009)

   2008 Legislative Analysis
Public Act 08-2

An Act Concerning the Citizens’ Election Program

  • Prescribes a grant application schedule for participating candidates in the Citizens’ Election Program beginning mid May 2008 and ending in early October
  • Provides participating candidates with supplemental payments if an opponent either receives funds or makes expenditures exceeding 100%, 125%, 150% and 175% of the participant’s applicable expenditure limit
  • Upon Commission approval of a supplemental grant, participating candidates may expend the full amount of that supplemental payment regardless of the amount his opponent spends
  • Requires participating and nonparticipating candidates to file weekly or bi-weekly supplemental disclosure statements once any candidate in that race has either raised funds or made expenditures exceeding 90% of the participating candidate’s applicable expenditure limit (not applicable to initial receipt of grant)
  • Eliminates the requirement that a photograph of the candidate be included on candidate mailings (NOTE: “paid for by” and “approved by” attribution are still required)
  • Makes technical and conforming changes to campaign finance laws for consistency

Public Act 08-3 (June 11 Special Session)

An Act Concerning Comprehensive Ethics Reforms

  • Prohibits chiefs of staff to solicit contributions from subordinates for the benefit of any candidate for state, district or municipal office
  • Violators of the law are subject to criminal penalties of up to five years in prison, a $5000 fine, or both violators are also subject to civil penalties of up to $2000 per offense
   2007 Legislative Analysis
Public Act 07-1

An Act Concerning the State Contractor Contribution Ban and Gifts to the State and Quasi-Public Agencies

  • The campaign finance portion of the act makes various changes to the implementation of the ban on state contractor contributions
  • Redefines what constitutes a principal of a state or prospective state contractor for clarity
  • Clarifies the definition of “solicit” for purposes of the ban which impacts lobbyists and contractors
  • Changes definition of dependent child to one who is 18 and over and can be claimed as a dependent on the parent’s federal income tax return
  • Imposes limit of $30 on contributions by any one under 18
  • Eliminates requirement that SEEC publish on its website a list of the names of all principals of contractors, and substitutes a requirement that it publish the names of the entities that are contractors and prospective state contractors
  • Allows for cure of contractor ban violation if contribution is returned in 30 days
  • Allows SEEC to determine if mitigating circumstances exist for contractor not to be debarred due to violation of contribution ban
  • Revises notice requirements, and imposes duties on SEEC to draft appropriate notice thatagencies can use to explain ban to contractors and prospective contractors
   2006 Legislative Analysis
Public Act 06-137

An Act Concerning the Campaign Finance Reform Legislation and Certain Election Law and Ethics provisions

  • Revises eligibility requirements for minor and petitioning party candidates to obtain public campaign grant under the Citizens' Election program
  • Imposes limits on certain organization expenditures by party, legislative caucus and leadership committees for participating candidates in the CEP
  • Revises the severability clause in the Campaign Finance Reform legislation (PA 05-5) in a manner that permits most of the law to stand if certain aspects are declared unconstitutional by the Courts
  • Makes other clarifying changes to PA 05-5
   2005 Legislative Analysis
Public Act 05-5(October 25 Special session)

An Act Concerning Comprehensive Campaign Finance Reform for State-Wide Constitutional and General Assembly Offices

  • The act included the most comprehensive reform of the Connecticut Campaign Finance laws since the post Watergate era, and is heralded as a model for the U.S. by national experts
  • Creates the Citizens’ Election Program, disinterred and enforced by the SEEC, which provides public campaign grants to eligible candidates for Statewide and General Assembly offices beginning in 2008. Candidates must raise a threshold of small individual contributions of no more than $100 from individuals, and abide by spending limits and other program requirements, including tight restrictions on the use of campaign funds, as established by regulations adopted by the SEEC.
  • The CEP is a voluntary program funded from escheats. More information concerning this program can be found on the SEEC website under “Public Campaign Financing” on the left navigation bar.
  • Creates a pilot program for public financing of municipal campaigns, and requires SEEC to establish criteria and application process, and report back to general assembly
  • The act also contains bans on contributions and solicitation of contributions by registered lobbyist, state contractors, prospective state contractors and immediate family members.
  • Transfers the campaign filing repository function from the Secretary of the state to the SEEC, and requires the SEEC to develop a new electronic campaign filing and reporting system in time for 2008 elections.
  • Imposes new limits on contributions by individuals, PACs and party committees to candidates
  • Imposes a one person per PAC rule—only a single PAC may be established or controlled by the same individual or entity.
  • Abolishes ad book loophole for Statewide and General Assembly campaigns, PACs and party committees which allowed corporate funds to be used to finance these committees.
  • Imposes additional disclosure requirements

Public Act 05-235

An Act Concerning Absentee Voting, Elections Enforcement, a Voting Technology Standards Board, Nomination Procedures, Training for Election Officials, Campaign Finance Reporting, Restoration of Voting Rights and Voter Registration

  • Imposes more restrictions, and establishes greater accountability, in the absentee voting process; by requiring registration of AB application distributors and tracking of applications, and identification of those having contact with AB applicants.
  • Authorizes the SEEC to impose a civil penalty of up to $2,000 per violation (1) for local petition circulation failures, (2) on election or primary officials who fail to perform their duties with respect to elections or voting methods, or (3) on illegal voters.
  • Permits the revenue services commissioner to disclose necessary tax returns or return information to the SEEC when the commission makes a written request for it to investigate suspected violations of state election laws.
  • Increases the criminal penalties for registration and voting fraud
  • Provides that the SEEC has authority for hearing appeals regarding decisions concerning right to vote made by registrars or the board for admission of electors.
  • Establishes a Voting Technology Standards Board to develop standards for electronic voting systems used in this state. It adds to the accessibility standards for direct recording electronic voting machines (DREs) established by PA 05-188, sets deadlines for approving machines that do not meet these standards, and gives registrars an option for the number of DREs they must audit.
  • Changes filing deadlines for certain campaign finance reports and increases penalties for missed deadlines.
  • Requires the Registrars of Voters Certification Committee to establish a training program for poll workers and registrars.

Public Act 05-188

An Act Concerning Voter Registration, Certain Nominating Procedures, Campaign Accountability, a Voter Guide, Push Polling and Electronic Voting Machines

  • Set standards for direct recording electronic voting machines (DREs) and establishes audit procedures for elections and primaries that use them; SEEC insisted that there be a voter verified paper record of each vote cast on any DRE intended for use in CT as required by HAVA
  • Expanded the law that requires campaign ads to include certain attributions akin to BCRA enacted on the federal level.
  • Requires the Secretary of the State to prepare and publish an online voter guide;
  • Exempts from disclosure certain voter registration information;
  • Requires the SEEC to conduct a study on push polling, and to submit its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly by February 2006

   2004 Legislative Analysis
Public Act 04-204

An Act Increasing the Membership of the State Ethics Commission and Concerning Recommended Appropriations of the State Ethics, Elections Enforcement and Freedom of Information Commissions

  • Provides for greater independence and autonomy of the 3 watchdog agencies by requiring that the budget request of the executive directors of the agencies are included in the Governor’s recommended budget.

Public Act 04-117

An Act Concerning the Preparation of Materials for Referenda Called for by a Regional School District and Concerning Budgets of Regional School Districts

  • Extends to Regional School Districts the same ability to authorize explanatory material concerning their referenda as exists for municipalities, and subjects these boards to the same prohibitions and sanctions for misusing public funds to advocate a position on a pending referendum.
  • Provides for a court review of any referendum where there are improper rulings of election officials, mistakes in the counts of votes or other significant violations which affect eh outcome of the vote, in the same manner as a candidate would have to contest an election or primary.

Public Act 04-113

An Act Concerning Registrars of Voters and the Repair of Voting Machines on Election Day

  • Requires Registrars of Voters to post their hours of operation, makes changes to the voter registration application card to deter fraud, ensures petition filings are handled uniformly, and imposes additional requirements on mechanics concerning repairs made to voting machines during the election.

Public Act 04-91

An Act Prohibiting Personal Use of Campaign Funds and Concerning Retention of Internal Records and Reporting Requirements Regarding Party-Building Activities

  • The act clarifies the campaign finance laws relating to proper uses of campaign and other committee funds, and extends the ban on personal use to non candidates, provides specificity concerning internal records required to be kept by treasurers, ensures full public disclosure of campaign expenses incurred by use of a credit card, and imposes disclosure requirements of the names of secondary payees of expenditures.

Public Act 04-74

An Act Concerning Compliance with the Federal Help America Vote Act

  • The act expands the duties and responsibilities of the SEEC by designating it as the sole state agency to receive and determine complaints filed under the Federal Help America Vote Act, and authorizes the SEEC to impose sanctions, hold hearings, etc. concerning violations of the Act.

   2003 Legislative Analysis
Public Act 03-7

An Act Concerning a Demonstration Project for the Use of Electronic Equipment for the Casting and Counting of Ballots and Prohibiting the Use of Punch-Card Voting Machines

  • The act requires the Secretary of the State to conduct a demonstration project on the use of electronic voting equipment in 2003 and 2004 in at least 3 towns, and required the SEEC to survey the volunteers and towns on the use of such equipment and shall review the results of any exit poll conducted by the Secretary of the State. Not later than January first in the year following the use of such equipment by a town, the SEEC was required to submit a report to the Secretary of the State on the use of such equipment, and that report was ultimately submitted to the General Assembly.

Public Act 03-117

An Act Concerning the State-Wide Centralized Voter Registration System

  • Required Registrars of Voters in each municipality to participate in the compilation of a Statewide computerized voter registry list that would reduce possible fraudulent registration and voting

Public Act 03-223

An Act Concerning Campaign Finance Reporting Requirements

  • The act requires each solicitor to deposit all contributions with the campaign treasurer, within seven days after receipt.
  • The act changes the quarterly campaign finance disclosure statement schedule of filing dates from the second Thursday of January, April, July and October to the seventh day of those months.
  • The act requires all candidates to file a candidate committee or an exemption from forming a candidate committee not later than ten days after becoming a candidate.
  • The act removes the requirement to disclose the chief executive officer of a business entity purchasing advertising space in a program booklet for a fundraising affair. The act also requires the disclosure of the date, location and description of a fundraising affair where an exemption from the definition of a contribution is utilized.

Public Act 03-227

An Act Establishing a Pilot Program for Reforming the Absentee Ballot Process to Prevent Fraud and Abuse

  • After years of experience investigating and discovering absentee voting abuses, the General Assembly gave its authorization to the SEEC to conduct a pilot program in 3 municipalities (for the 2003 municipal elections) designed to impose greater accountability in the absentee voting process, and deter fraudulent and abusive practices. The details of the program were spelled out in the legislation. The SEEC was required to submit report containing its recommendations to the General Assembly in January 2004.

Public Act 03-241

An Act Concerning Direct Primaries and Amendments to Certain Campaign Finance Statutes

  • The act made several revisions to the primary process for petitioning candidates for state and district offices, including changing the amount of necessary signatures a petitioning candidate needs to obtain to qualify for the ballot along with changing the date of the primary. This followed the Federal Court’s conclusion that CT’s primary process was unconstitutional.
  • Allows a candidate committee or a political committee, to pay for expenditures using a debit card.
  • Permits candidate committees for either Governor or Lieutenant Governor to make expenditures on behalf of the other after the candidates have been nominated to run together, without running afoul of any contribution restrictions.
  • Allows a committee formed for a single referendum to continue and spend money beyond the 90-day deadline a committee has in which to distribute its surplus. If another, substantially similar referendum will be voted on in the next six months, the referendum committee can continue to operate.
  • Prohibits a municipal employee from soliciting from a person under his supervision or that person's spouse or dependent child a campaign contribution for the benefit of (1) any candidate for state, district, or municipal office or (2) a political party. Current law prohibits a head or deputy head of a state department from soliciting campaign contributions from any other person.
  • Expands the ban on state and municipal officials and employees allowing public funds to be spent on promotional campaigns or advertisements featuring a candidate for public office to cover ads that appear in movie theaters, on billboards, or bus posters. The current ban applies to an advertisement or promotion that features a candidate's name, face, or voice appearing on television, radio, newspapers, and magazines, within 5 months of an election.
  • Authorizes the SEEC to impose an additional sanction when it finds an intentional violation of campaign finance laws. The SEEC can suspend the political activities of a party committee or PAC, but only after it has previously ordered the removal of the committee's treasurer and notified the committee's officers that it is considering the suspension.
   2002 Legislative Analysis
Public Act 02-130

An Act Revising Certain Elections and Campaign Finance Statutes and Concerning Campaign Contributions by Persons Associated With Investment Firms Doing Business With the State Treasurer and Meetings of Caucuses Under the Freedom of Information Act

  • The act excludes from the definition of a “contribution,” the sale of food or beverage by a town committee to an individual at a town fair, county fair or similar mass gathering held within the state, to the extent that the cumulative payment made by any one individual for such items does not exceed fifty dollars.
  • The act gives the Commission the authority to exercise personal jurisdiction over any nonresident person, or the agent of such nonresident person, who makes a contribution or expenditure, in excess of two hundred dollars, to, or for the benefit of, any committee or candidate.
  • The act increases the threshold amount for itemized campaign reporting for candidates and referendum committees to $1,000.00. The act also increases the permissible cash contribution amount from $50.00 to $100.00
  • The act allows a party committee to make payment in satisfaction of any financial obligation incurred by a party committee by debit card. It also outlines record retention requirements for debit card payments that are made by the campaign treasurer.
  • The act also modifies the prohibition on contributions and solicitations concerning persons associated with investment service firms doing business with the State Treasurer.

Public Act 02-83

An Act Requiring Notification of Voting or Voting Registration to Conservators of Residents in Certain Institutions, Mail-In-Voter Registration Procedures, and Service by Municipal Employees on Municipal Boards and Commissions

  • Requires an administrator of an institution, a residential facility for the mentally retarded, or a community residence, to use his or her best efforts to provide written notice to any conservator or guardian appointed to manage the affairs of a resident of such institution, at least seven days prior to the date any voter registration or voting opportunity is presented to the resident with respect to a primary, referendum or election.
  • Requires the DMV commissioner to provide the voter registration applicant with an application receipt, on a form approved by the Secretary of the State and on which the commissioner shall record the date that the commissioner received the application, using an official date stamp bearing the words "Department of Motor Vehicles".
  • Provides that any voter registration agency shall also provide the voter registration applicant with an application receipt, on which the agency shall record the date that the agency received the application, using an official date stamp bearing the name of the agency.
  • Requires the Secretary of the State to provide each municipality with sufficient quantities of a poster size copy, at least eighteen by twenty-four inches, of a Voter's Bill of Rights, which shall be posted conspicuously at each polling place.

   2000 Legislative Analysis
Public Act 00-99

An Act Reforming the Sheriff’s System

  • After several documented instances of campaign financing corruption involving campaigns for High Sheriff, (jobs or other favors for campaign contributions) the SEEC successfully sought legislation to bar candidates for High Sheriff from soliciting their employees or members of their immediate family, and a reciprocal ban on soliciting of contributions for candidates for High Sheriff by the employees of the sheriff and their family members.

Public Act 00-92

An Act Concerning the Duties of Town Clerks and Establishment of Ethics Agencies By Special Districts

  • Section 9-369b, Conn. Gen. Stats., had required municipalities desiring to explain pending referendum questions use an exclusive method explanatory text) to do so. This act provides that any municipality may, by vote of its legislative body and subject to the approval of its municipal attorney, authorize the preparation and printing of materials concerning any such proposal or question in addition to the explanatory text if such materials do not advocate the approval or disapproval of the proposal or question.

Public Act 00-79

An Act Concerning the Number of Available Paper Ballots When Voting Machines Are Damaged or For Electors With Disabilities

  • The SEEC had various enforcement actions regarding voting machine breakdowns, failures or improper set-ups. An insufficient number of paper ballots were available to service voters on Election Day. This legislation requires town clerks to provide paper ballots for each polling place in moderator kits equal to one percent of the number of electors in the district, unless the town clerk and registrars agree otherwise.

Public Act 00-43

An Act Concerning Powers and Duties of the Treasurer and the Investment Advisory Council

  • Expanded the ban on contributions by principals of investment firms doing business with the State Treasurer by prohibit any such principal from contributing to or soliciting on behalf of any candidate for state or municipal office, including the General Assembly. The legislation also restricted the State Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer or any candidate for State Treasurer, or member of the Investment Advisory Council from soliciting contributions from principals of investment services firms doing business with the State Treasurer for any candidate.

   1999 Legislative Analysis
Public Act 99-12

An Act Prohibiting Government Sponsored Promotional Campaigns Featuring Candidates for Public Office

  • Prohibits candidates from appearing in publicly funded television radio, newspaper or magazine ads during 5 months prior to election

Public Act 99-147

An Act Concerning Corrupt Election Practices

  • Prohibits favors of any kind offered by candidates to anyone for signing an election related petition

Public Act 99-275

An Act Concerning Candidate Related Advertisements

  • Regulates "sham issue ads" featuring candidates within 3 months of election by requiring ads to be funded by permissible sources under campaign finance laws, and subject to disclosure requirements

Public Act 99-276

An Act Concerning Minor Changes to Election Laws

  • Requires voter identification at referenda

   1997 - 1998 Legislative Analysis


Public Act 98-7

An Act Prohibiting the Receipt of "Soft Money" Funds From National Political Parties by State Parties and PACs

  • Limits transfers from national parties to state parties and PACs to funds subject to Federal limits (no corporate, union treasury funds, limited individual contributions)

Public Act 98-67

An Act Concerning Election Procedures

  • Requires test voting and sealing in machine preparation that registrars must conduct prior to election


Public Act 97-107

An Act Strengthening Enforcement of Election Laws

  • Raises amount of civil penalty the SEEC can impose to $2000 or twice the amount of the improper contribution or payment ; authorizes removal of treasurer or solicitor

Public Act 97-154

An Act Amending the Election Laws

  • Expands jurisdiction of SEEC to investigate violations occurring at primaries held pursuant to Special Acts

Public Act 97-176

An Act Reforming Absentee Voting Laws to Protect Against Abuses

  • Prohibits candidates, agents of a candidate, political party or PAC from being present while voter casts an absentee ballot

Public Act 97-5 (June 18 Special Session)

An Act Concerning Campaign Finance Reform

  • Requires candidates for statewide office after January 1999, and who raise $250,000 or more to file campaign reports electronically, and permits other committees to do so; lowers threshold for disclosure of individual contributors occupation and employer to $101; requires individuals making independent expenditures of more than $1,000 to file disclosure statements; extends lobbyist contribution ban during sessions to statewide candidates and their PACs; limits contributions by minors under 16 to $30

   1995 - 1996 Legislative Analysis


Public Act 96-207

An Act Concerning Forfeiture and Restoration of Voting Rights

  • Strengthens procedures regarding convicted felons


Public Act 95-122

An Act Authorizing the State Elections Enforcement Commission to Impose Civil Penalties for Wrongful Denial of Voting Rights and for Violations Concerning Recanvass and Identification at the Polls

  • Expands Commission's authority to impose civil penalty of up to $2000 for these violations

Public Act 95-177

An Act Concerning the Integrity of the Absentee Ballot Process

  • Strengthens accountability in distribution of absentee ballot application by requiring the person providing direct assistance to the applicant to sign name and address; cures void in criminal statute

Public Act 95-188

An Act Concerning the Integrity of the Office of the Treasurer

  • Imposes prohibition on any owners and key personnel of an investment services firm doing business with the State Treasurer, or any PAC established by such firm, from soliciting or making contributions to any campaign for State Treasurer

Public Act 95-276

An Act Concerning Permissible Campaign Expenditures by Committees and Attribution on Political Advertising

  • Imposes prohibition on personal use of campaign funds by candidate, and on payment of compensation to candidate's immediate family

   1990 - 1994 Legislative Analysis


Public Act 94-102

An Act Concerning Members and Employees of the Elections Enforcement Commission

  • Strengthens restrictions on political activities by Commission members and staff

Public Act 94-121

An Act Concerning the Implementation of the National Voter Registration Act

  • Among many changes, provides that Elections Enforcement Commission be responsible for investigating and enforcing provisions of the NVRA


Public Act 93-192

An Act Concerning the Imposition of Civil Penalties by the State Elections Enforcement Commission and Notice of Campaign Treasurers Who Fail to File Campaign Reports

  • Increases Commission's authority to impose civil penalties from maximum of $1,000 to $2,000 per offense

Public Act 93-251

An Act Concerning Lobbyist Contributions and Committee Certifications

  • Strengthens existing lobbyist contribution ban by expanding coverage to activities exempt from being considered contributions under campaign finance laws, and strengthens annual disclosure of lobbyists campaign contributions by including purchases not otherwise considered contributions

Public Act 93-300

An Act Concerning Voter Identification at the Polls

  • Requires for the first time a voter to present identification before voting or sign a statement of authenticity


Public Act 92-246

An Act Concerning Campaign Contributions

  • Requires disclosure of ad book receipts for fundraisers; requires contributors of over $100 to be by personal check


Public Act 91-351

An Act Concerning Campaign Financing of Delegates Involved in Primaries, Campaign Finance Reporting, In-Kind Contributions, Surplus Campaign Funds, Mailing of Absentee Ballots

  • Imposes limits on contributions to candidates in primary for convention delegates, and prohibits corporate contributions to those primaries; requires treasurers to obtain occupation and employer's name for $1,000 contributors or forfeit funds, requires in- kind valuation notice by PAC to candidate to facilitate disclosure


Public Act 90-267

An Act Concerning Political Contributions by Registered Lobbyists

  • Prohibits lobbyists and lobbyist PACs from soliciting or contributing to General Assembly candidates and their PACs during legislative sessions

   1986 - 1989 Legislative Analysis


Public Act 89-5

An Act Concerning Notice of Restrictions on Possession of Completed Absentee Ballots

  • Requires notice on outer envelope for reforming absentee of who can lawfully handle completed ballot and penalties for violations

Public Act 89-159

An Act Concerning Enforcement of Prohibition Against Use of Public Funds to Advocate a Position on a Referendum

  • Clarifies that no public funds can be used to advocate position on referendum and authorizes Commission to impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000 or twice the amount of the expenditure, with no right of indemnification of the state or municipal official


Public Act 88-113

An Act Concerning Election Contests by Individuals

  • Permits an individual to contest a referendum in court without having to exhaust administrative remedies

Public Act 88-344

An Act Concerning the Witnessing of Voter Registration Applications

  • Strengthens requirements for mail-in voter registration to preclude fraud and insure greater accountability


Public Act 87-264

An Act Concerning Financial Reporting for Primary Elections

  • Extends disclosure provisions of campaign finance laws to town committee and delegate primaries

Public Act 87-524

An Act Concerning Political Contributions by Lobbyists to Members of the General Assembly

  • Requires identification of PACs formed by registered lobbyists, disclosure of lobbyist status of contributors on campaign reports, that individuals who are registered lobbyists file annual campaign reports, and that occupation and employer's name of contributor of more than $1,000 be disclosed

Public Act 87-530

An Act Concerning Circulation of Election Petitions

  • New crime established for misrepresentation of contents of an election related petition

Public Act 87-532

An Act Reforming the Absentee Ballot Process

  • Requires accountability in distribution of absentee ballot applications, expands requirement for mandatory supervision of absentee ballots at nursing homes, and expands Commission's authority to investigate complaints concerning town committee and delegate primaries

Public Act 87-545

An Act Concerning Judicial Hearings Concerning Absentee Ballots

  • Requires automatic court hearing on an election when candidate claims absentee ballot violations; expands time frame to bring court action contesting a primary


Public Act 86-1

An Act Permitting the Elections Enforcement Commission to Impound Voting Machines

  • Expands Commission's authority by allowing it to impound machines to complete investigation and to issue order requiring town clerk to unlock machine when necessary to investigate complaint

Public Act 86-99

An Act Making Technical Revisions to the Campaign Finance Laws

  • Recodifies, rewrites campaign finance laws in plain language

Public Act 86-240

An Act Concerning the Appointment of Deputy Campaign Treasurers by State Central Committees, Contribution Limits for Candidates for Municipal Office, and Studies of the Campaign Finance Laws

  • Revises certain contribution limits for municipal candidates form $1,000 to $250; requires joint study by State Elections Enforcement Commission and State Ethics Commission of the relationship of the campaign finance laws to the codes of ethics for public officials and lobbyists

Public Act 86-412

An Act Concerning Imposition of Civil Penalties for Violations of Certain Election Laws

  • Expands Commission's authority to levy civil penalties of up to $1,000 for violations pertaining to conduct of elections, preparation of voting machines, handicapped access, etc.
   1980 - 1985 Legislative Analysis


Public Act 85-274

An Act Concerning Certification of Moderators

  • Strengthens requirements for election moderators to facilitate smooth conduct of elections

Public Act 85-489

An Act Concerning the Preservation and Destruction of Absentee Ballots

  • Expands Commission's authority to use subpoena power to prevent destruction of absentee ballot material to facilitate investigation

Public Act 85-514

An Act Concerning Distribution of Absentee Ballot Applications

  • Prohibits payment of compensation for distributing applications or for assistance in completion of absentee ballots


Public Act 84-437

An Act Imposing Penalties for the Misuse of Public Funds by an Incumbent in Connection with his Campaign and Empowering the State Elections Commission to Issue Orders Concerning Unlawful Campaign Contributions

  • Increases Commission's enforcement authority by allowing it to issue orders requiring that unlawful campaign contributions or payments be returned or forfeited to the state; expands Commission's civil penalty authority to prohibition on misuse of public funds by incumbent
  • Strengthens law on testimonials to require disclosure, and subjects them to contribution limits; prohibits candidates from being compensated by PACs, imposes controls on those soliciting contributions, and name of agency changes to SEEC to avoid confusion with Elections Division of Secretary of the State


Public Act 83-336

An Act Concerning Limitations on Contributions Made by Political Committees

  • Imposes for the first time PAC contribution limits to municipal candidates

Public Act 83-410

An Act Prohibiting Solicitation of Campaign Funds by Certain State Officials

  • Prohibits commissioners and deputy commissioners of state agencies from soliciting contributions for state and local candidates, and political parties

Public Act 83-583

An Act Permitting the State Election Commission to Intervene in Actions Brought to Contest an Election or Primary

  • Authorizes Commission intervention in court actions brought by candidate to challenge results of elections or primaries; required notice of all such court actions be given to Commission to facilitate intervention when necessary to prepare evidence of possible criminal violations


Public Act 82-54

An Act Concerning Persons Who are Guarantors of Loans to Political Candidates

  • Requires disclosure of those who guaranty loans to candidates, allows candidate committee to share costs of joint advertising on a proportionate basis

Public Act 82-176

An Act Concerning Fraudulent Voting and Intimidation of Voters

  • Cures void in criminal law by applying same penalty for fraudulent voting in primaries that applies to elections


Public Act 81-357

An Act Revising the Provisions of Connecticut's Campaign Finance Laws

  • Simplifies categories of committees, allows for exploratory committee for candidate who was undecided about which office to run for, establishes one candidate one committee rule to avoid circumvention of contribution limits, increases information concerning PACs, prohibits distribution of candidate campaign surplus to PACs

Public Act 81-359

An Act Empowering the State Elections Commission to Levy a Civil Penalty for Violations of Absentee Ballot and Petition Requirements

  • Expands Commission's authority to impose civil penalties of up to $1000 for violations of absentee ballot and petition requirements

Public Act 81-424

An Act Concerning Absentee Voting by Persons Who are Ill or Disabled and the Checking Procedure for Absentee Ballots

  • Requires supervision by registrars of persons in nursing homes and other institutions when casting absentee ballots to prevent fraud

Public Act 81-434

An Act Concerning the Use of Public Funds to Influence the Outcome of a Referendum Question and the Location of Political Advertising Materials

  • Prohibits use of public funds to influence outcome of referendum to ensure fairness

Public Act 81-467

An Act Concerning Controls on the Administration of Elections and Primaries

  • Increases maximum criminal penalty for violations of campaign finance laws from one to five years imprisonment, and from $1,000 to $5,000 fine (class D felony); also establishes right to challenge absentee ballot of polling place


Public Act 80-212

An Act Empowering the State Elections Commission to Levy a Civil Penalty Against Violators of the Campaign Finance Laws

  • Authorizes the Commission to impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per violation against any violator of CT's Campaign Finance Laws. Commission must comply with Uniform Administrative Procedure Act before imposing penalty. Limits referrals to Chief State's Attorney to knowing and willful violations

Public Act 80-223

An Act Concerning Contributions to Candidates for Municipal Offices

  • Limits contributions to municipal candidates for the first time

Public Act 80-271

An Act Concerning Political Advertising

  • Requires identification of sponsorship on printed campaign communications, and authorizes Commission to impose civil penalty for non-compliance

Public Act 80-432

An Act Providing Penalties for Neglect or Fraud in the Performance of Duties relating to Primaries and Limits on Contributions by Certain Continuing Political Committees

  • Cures void in criminal law by applying penalties for election official fraud or neglect arising from primaries
  • Limits contributions by business PAC's to candidates, and in the aggregate to all candidates
   1974 - 1979 Legislative Analysis


Public Act 79-381

An Act Concerning the Filing of Campaign Statements and Reports

  • Raises threshold for itemization for any fundraising affair, prohibits rollover of surplus from a candidate committee to PAC established to finance the future campaigns of the same candidate


Public Act 78-61, 78-106

An Act Concerning the State Elections Commission's Duties and Powers

  • Expands Commission's investigative authority to include primaries and referenda, and enables Commission to refer evidence to the Attorney General for equitable relief so that the results of an election, primary or referendum can be set aside by the courts

Public Act 78-125

An Act Concerning Election Complaints and the Revision of Primary Petition Circulation to Preclude Possible Fraud

  • Imposes additional safeguards concerning petition circulation, increases opportunities for registering complaints with the court concerning improper rulings or ballot counts, increases authority of court to order election remedies


Public Act 77-158

An Act Concerning Expenditures Permitted by Individuals, Stock Corporations, Business Organizations and Other Organizations

  • Limits corporate and organization contributions to a referendum committee


Public Act 76-264

An Act Concerning a Minimum Threshold for Reporting Under the Campaign Finance Laws

  • Establishes $500 aggregate threshold for candidates and PACs before itemized campaign reporting is required

Public Act 76-270

An Act Concerning the Disposition of Campaign Deficits and Surpluses

  • Requires distribution of surplus within 90 days following election, requires more frequent reporting of campaign deficits

Public Act 76-275

An Act Conforming Chapter 150 to the U.S. Supreme Court Decision Concerning Campaign Financing

  • To conform to Buckley v. Valeo decision, the terms contribution and expenditure are differentiated; expenditure limitations on candidates' campaigns are repealed as are restrictions on candidates use of personal funds; independent expenditures are permitted


Public Act 75-202

An Act Concerning Voluntary Compliance with Election Laws

  • Expands Commission's powers to include securing voluntary compliance by informal methods

Public Act 75-571

An Act Concerning Permitted Campaign Expenditures

  • Allows Commission to determine what campaigns expenses are permitted by issuing regulations

Public Act 75-571

An Act Revising The Campaign Finance Laws

  • Allows organizations to make campaign contributions, prohibits contributions by candidate committees to other committees, allows aggregate reporting of individual contributions of $15 or less, imposes limit on anonymous contributions, revises individual contribution limits and requires more frequent reporting by committees.


Public Act 74-213

An Act Concerning the Creation of a State Elections Commission

  • Creates the 5 member Commission with authority to investigate possible election law violations hold hearings, issue subpoenas, refer evidence to the Chief State's Attorney, inspect campaign records, issue advisory opinions and recommend revisions to election laws. Public Act 74-213 $50,000 Appropriation