Nobody Told Me That: Wilton's Annual Town Meeting
When is Wilton’s Annual Town Meeting & Budget Vote this year?
Wilton’s Annual Town Meeting is on Tuesday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m., at the Wilton High School Clune Center auditorium. Machine voting on the town budget and seven proposed questions will take place immediately following that meeting. For those unable to attend the meeting, voting will continue on Saturday, May 6, at the Wilton High School Clune Center from.8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
What’s on the Annual Town Meeting ballot?
This year the ballot includes one question about the annual budget and seven additional questions for voters to vote on. The registrars of voters page at wiltonct.org contains a link to the sample ballot. Budget information is also on the town website, including the proposed 2018 budget. The Wilton Board of Education budget may be viewed online at wilton.k12.ct.us. This year’s Annual Town Meeting will be available for viewing on the town website on May 3.
Will the Annual Town Meeting represent the wishes of town residents?
That depends on voter turnout. If voters choose not to attend the Annual Town Meeting, they are allowing others to speak for them. Voters are allowed to make motions at the Town Meeting to decrease a budget line item but not to increase it. Voters in the auditorium that night may vote on such motions which might change the proposed budget. In 2016, only 18% of eligible voters participated in the two-day budget voting. According to Wilton’s Charter, the proposed budget automatically passes if voter turnout is less than 15%. Questions are passed by a majority of those voting.
Who is eligible to vote at the Annual Town Meeting?
The following people may vote:
- All registered voters, regardless of whether they own property in town.
- All U.S. citizens, resident and nonresident, liable to the Town of Wilton for taxes on real estate property — or a motor vehicle — with an assessment of at least $1,000 on the Oct. 1, 2016 grand list.
If you have purchased property in Wilton after Oct. 1, 2016, your name will not appear on this grand list. In that case, you must be a registered voter in order to cast a ballot at the Annual Town Meeting. In all cases, you must be a U.S. citizen to vote and at least 18 years old.
You may register to vote online if you have a valid Connecticut driver’s license. Go to the secretary of the state’s website at https://voterregistration.ct.gov to register to vote online. You may also register to vote at the Wilton Town Hall, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 to 4:30. Download a voter registration application from wiltonct.org or call the registrars for information at 203-563-0111. Absentee ballots will be available in person from the town clerk at town hall beginning on Wednesday, May 3, through Friday, May 5, from 8:30 to 4:30. All absentee ballots must be returned to the town clerk’s office by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 5.