Preston Democrats will choose candidate for registrar of voters at Aug. 14 primary

Preston – Registered Democrats here will have a little more work to do at the Aug. 14 party primary than their counterparts in most towns, because at the bottom of the crowded ballot of candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer and attorney general, voters will find two candidates for registrar of voters.

The race is between Karen Stockton, endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee, and Cheryl Roberts, the incumbent first-term Democratic registrar who also served as assistant registrar for six years prior to her election in 2016.

Roberts said she was upset when she didn’t receive the party nomination, and decided to petition, a move she said helped her gain recognition in the community. She collected 125 names, although she needed only 56 signatures of Preston registered Democrats.

Roberts said she never met her opponent, and both said they will campaign by going door to door and make phone calls to introduce themselves and talk to voters about why they are interested in the position that helps run town elections and referendums.

Stockton, 71, said she had heard that the Democratic Town Committee was looking for registrar candidates and looked up the responsibilities of the position. She felt her more than 25 years working in early intervention with children with disabilities gave her the background for the position. Stockton ran an early intervention program at the American School for the Deaf for most of her career, and for a few years before she retired, she served as statewide training coordinator for children, infants and young children with disabilities, conducting training and maintaining budgets for the program.

“I know there’s no specific experience required,” Stockton said. “I really thought I had the experience, and I could do the job. … It’s such an important position. What can be more important than ensuring voting rights for all Preston citizens.”

Roberts, 57, was elected as Democratic registrar in 2016 after former registrar Joanne Eisenhard decided not to run again. New state regulations call for 25 hours of training and certification for local registrars.

Roberts said she has completed all the training requirements and is awaiting the exam. She said she also has attended all the monthly classes hosted by the Connecticut Registrars of Voters Association and joined the group’s board of directors as deputy treasurer.


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