Brookfield woman is fighting for her right to vote - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Brookfield woman is fighting for her right to vote

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Miller was sent a letter telling her she was no longer a member of the republican party in town (WFSB) Miller was sent a letter telling her she was no longer a member of the republican party in town (WFSB)
BROOKFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

A woman from Brookfield is suing town officials who she said have taken away her constitutional rights.

Jane Miller was booted out of the Republican Party, and said it was because she changed her party to run for a town office.

She is a lifelong republican, but when her party chose not to nominate her for a position on the Board of Education, she chose to register as unaffiliated and run as a democrat.

She didn’t win, and then went back to the Republican Party, but 15 months later, she got a letter that told her she was no longer a member of the party.

"Not only does this apply to my town --- but I can't vote in the presidential primary coming up April 26,” Miller said.

She said she was stunned, and then learned that there is an old state statute that allows political parties to oust members if they feel they are not loyal to the party.

It is a statute hardly ever used, and many don’t know it exists.

Miller said she not only feels what happened to her is unfair, but hypocritical because other republicans who have run for office have done the same thing with no consequences.

“They were allowed back in without a hearing,” Miller said.

Thomas Dunkerton, the republican registrar, was the one who kicked Miller out.

He told Eyewitness News “This matter is in litigation and upon advice from counsel I am not at liberty to comment on it. "

Dunkerton is counting on the town to pay his legal fees, which are $21,000 so far.

"The town is not paying this bill. I don't feel the town is responsible for a fight or disagreement that is purely republicans having a problem with other republicans,” said First Selectman Steve Dunn.

The Secretary of State said “Our concern is that the current law could restrict someone's right to vote,” and is asking state lawmakers to re-appeal the statute.

"It’s remarkable it's there, there may be people who this is happening to and didn't have the resources to fight it,” Miller said.

The case is now in the state Supreme Court, the federal court and at the State Capitol, and could amount to what is expected to be a costly legal battle.

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