Fairfield Police Chief: Officers ready to ‘offer strong protections to voters’

Photo of Josh LaBella
Fairfield Police Chief Christopher Lyddy poses in front of police headquarters, in Fairfield, Conn. June 25, 2020.

Fairfield Police Chief Christopher Lyddy poses in front of police headquarters, in Fairfield, Conn. June 25, 2020.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

FAIRFIELD — Officers will be ready to respond to any calls outside of Fairfield polling stations in order to maintain order and ensure people can vote, the police said.

In a message to residents on Facebook, Fairfield Police Chief Christopher Lyddy said the department takes potential voter interference and intimidation very seriously.

“The voters of the town of Fairfield deserve to know that no one will be allowed to interfere with, restrict, or deny their right to cast a ballot on Election Day,” he said.

The process of going to a polling station to cast a vote is not only a civic duty, Lyddy said, but also a community event. He said it may provide an opportunity for voters to see friends, neighbors, or even speak to a candidate before or after casting their vote.

“This process is a natural and important part of our democratic society and must be protected,” Lyddy said. “Both state and federal law offer strong protections to voters, and every election official in Fairfield will be vigilant in protecting our citizens’ right to safely cast their vote without restriction.”

While many residents view a police officer’s presence outside a polling station as providing a sense of safety and security, he said, the department recognizes that some may view it as intimidating.

“The citizens of the town of Fairfield must understand that the men and women of the Fairfield Police Department stand committed to protecting the rights of all of our citizens to engage in the democratic process, irrespective of party affiliation or political ideology,” Lyddy said.

Lyddy said the department hasn’t received any information as of Thursday that there will be any intentional acts of interference or intimidation at Fairfield’s polls. He added there have been incidents in the past near polling stations that may lead to complaints.

“The Fairfield Police Department is ready to respond to, and investigate, any such incidents,” he said. “Our town enjoys a great history of orderly and professionally run elections, and we aim to continue that history.”