Democrats at Wesleyan to file SEEC complaint against Giuliano

The matter was dropped in November, but Democrats and other students at Wesleyan are reviving a complaint against Republican Sebastian Giuliano now that he is designated as the choice of the State Elections Enforcement Commission to be its next director and general counsel.

The students say they will file a complaint Tuesday, alleging that Giuliano, a Republican, tried to intimidate students from voting last Novemember when he was seeking re-election as mayor. He was defeated by Dan Drew, a Democrat.

Giuliano says he went to the campus to tell the students before the election that they needed to register with a street address, not just a Wesleyan post-office box, so they could be directed to the appropriate polling place. He says he was trying to avoid election-day confusion, not keep anyone from voting.

But two Wesleyan students, including Benjamin Florsheim, the president of the Wesleyan Democrats, wrote a letter to the SEEC, describing Giuliano’s behavior as troubling for a man who would be the commission’s director.

They wrote:

“For decades prior to the November 2011 election, Wesleyan students registered to vote in Middletown using a campus PO box as their residency address. During his time as mayor, Mr. Giuliano did not question or object to this practice until faced with a close re-election campaign in 2011.

“This registration practice, which had been followed for decades, was suddenly questioned only after a large number of Wesleyan students registered to vote for the November 2011 election and had received confirmation of their registration from the registrar. Students had registered to vote in good faith following the practices that had been enforced by the registrar of voters for decades, including during Mr. Giuliano’s time in office.”

Florsheim and Gabriela De Golia wrote that Giuliano “incorrectly stated that students who registered with a campus PO box and did not confirm their actual residency address in-person with the registrar could “come up empty” on Election Day.”

The students say they intend to file a formal complaint Tuesday, a day before the commission is scheduled to formally appoint Giuliano as director.