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Montville's Rosetta Jones chooses write-in route to Town Council seat

By Kelly Catalfamo

Publication: The Day

Published September 19. 2013 4:00AM

Montville - Unaffiliated Town Council candidate Rosetta Jones' name won't appear on the November ballot, but she plans to run for re-election through a write-in campaign.

Jones is a former Democrat who became unaffiliated and was endorsed by the Republican and Independence for Montville parties in the last election cycle. When the Republican and Independent parties told her they weren't happy with some of her positions during her current term on the council and would not endorse her for the 2013 election, she formed a third party and planned to run under that designation.

She won't be on the ballot in November, however, because she did not file a statement of endorsement with the secretary of state's office by the Sept. 4 deadline, said Av Harris, director of communications for the secretary of the state's office.

"I've made a commitment to the voters of this town," said Jones about her decision to run a write-in campaign for Town Council, which she believes has never been done in Montville before. She said there is a "critical mass (of people who) know me and look to me for leadership."

"I can't back down," added Jones.

There are over 30 pages of paperwork explaining how to create and then run under a third party, explained Jones. Some forms can be turned in to the town clerk while others must be sent to the state. Jones said she mistakenly turned the statement of endorsement in to the town clerk rather than send it to the secretary of the state. The secretary of the state's office would not accept the date-stamped statement from the town clerk after the deadline, she said.

Town Clerk Lisa Terry confirmed that Jones filed the statement of endorsement with her in August.

"The major parties are a monopoly," said Jones when explaining the process she had to go through to try to get on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate. "If you're a third party … there are many barriers along the way. It's a learning curve."

To vote for Jones, voters will have to first write her name below those of the Republican, Democratic and Independence for Montville candidates and then fill in the corresponding bubble on the ballot.

The secretary of the state's office assured her that anything that looks similar to "Rosetta Jones" will count, said the candidate, even if the handwriting is messy or the spelling isn't exactly correct.

Unless they're already aware of Jones' candidacy, voters at the polls will only be able to find out about Jones and any other potential write-in candidates if they directly ask the registrars of voters.

Jones said the party she founded, Smart Choice Party, is currently in pending status. For now, her job is to make voting for a write-in candidate "as simple as possible, as clear as possible, so that people understand what they have to do when they get to the poll."

k.catalfamo@theday.com

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