Vernon reverses course, will accept dropbox for absentee ballots

VERNON — After a dispute with state officials over the use of a ballot dropbox issued by the Secretary of the State’s office to be used for absentee ballots, the town will now accept one, which will be placed outside Town Hall, according to a letter submitted Thursday by Town Attorney Louis A. Spadaccini to Deputy Secretary of the State Scott D. Bates. Vernon officials initially resisted having a dropbox, telling the state that they would instead allow in-person absentee ballots to be cast through a window at the front of Town Hall that connects to the town clerk’s office. Opponents of Vernon’s method have included Disability Rights Connecticut, an advocacy group that sent a letter Monday to Town Administrator Michael Purcaro saying the town’s setup was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act because the window is too far from the street and too high off the ground. (...) Also on Monday, protestors assembled outside Town Hall to call out what they labeled voter suppression, making the case that Vernon’s voters were disadvantaged compared to those in other towns because Vernon was only accepting in-person absentee ballots during the town clerk’s office hours, while the dropboxes are available 24 hours a day.