Letter: Setting the record straight

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To the Editor:

Over the past several weeks, there have been numerous attacks on both my character and my accomplishments as Republican Registrar of Voters. Instead of getting into petty quarrels online, I decided to address each accusation, using facts as opposed to unsubstantiated talking points.

Purging of voters files:

Yes, our office performs a yearly canvass, Jan. 1 to May 1, as mandated per state statute. The voter files are also updated on a daily basis with proper notifications.


Both registrars are jointly responsible for office procedures. The state voter system was, to say the least, flawed, and removed voters and elected officials from the voter rolls. We worked to input voters to meet with the 2004 deadline, but our efforts were stopped when the other registrar directed the IT Department to disconnect the computers and both registrars were fined. The Mayor’s Office was fully aware of this situation throughout.

Providing the town chairmen with updated voter lists:

The accusation that these voter lists were not provided are unequivocally untrue. Despite what has been stated publicly by Mr. Torrano and Mr. Scialabba, voter lists were sent to Mr. Scialabba, Republican Town Chair, 22 times in 2013. There are emails to back this up. The story changed into the notion that these lists were tainted, which, again, is untrue. These accusations were never substantiated and no proof that these lists were tainted was ever provided.

My campaign does have the support of many RTC members:

Despite the numerous statements from the Federici campaign, I have the support of many Republican Town Committee members, and the vote was, in fact, very close. Only 57 out of 93 members were present to endorse a candidate for the office of Registrar of Voters. Mr. Torrano refused to give the tally results and only announced that Mr. Federici had won the nomination. The difference of the loss was only 4 votes. It was unfortunate that the meeting was called when so many members were unable to attend.

District changes did not cost our party an election:

Stuart Wells and I were working on a project as a result of the census of voters who reside on boundary properties of districts. Forty years ago, GPS technology was not available to locate properties. Mr. Wells was being assisted by the town clerk, tax assessor, DPW and the U.S. Postal office. Norwalk’s corporation counsel assisted with interpreting the city charter. To directly respond to the accusations made by Mr. McCarthy, his statements are not accurate. A quick look at the actual votes cast in 2011, the election he is referring to, shows that had the updated district changes been made, the net change would have been five additional votes cast by Democratic voters. Hence the district changes had no impact on the final election results.

Norwalk Veterans Memorial Committee

I am honored to have been selected by four mayors to serve as the city of Norwalk’s liaison to the Veteran’s Memorial Committee. I am also the committee secretary. I perform duties for city events such as the Memorial Day Parade, Shea-Magrath Memorial Ceremony and Veterans Day Ceremony. Mr. Torrano stated that I was not to work at City Hall on the Memorial Day Parade. However, Mayors Esposito, Knopp, Moccia and Rilling each gave me permission to work at City Hall on these city events.

Additional attacks and accusations

Never, at any point of my 14 years of services as the Republican Registrar of Voters, have I conducted any babysitting services, tag sales, or real estate activities while at City Hall. These are simply lies that have been spread throughout the campaign through various outlets that have zero truth behind them.

I have tried not to dignify the untruths, rumors and dirt that have been thrown with an answer. They did tell me that if I took my quest to the voters it would be ugly, but I could never have foreseen such dirty politics from within my own party. I now feel that the voters in Norwalk deserve answers to their questions and know the truth. I have written the facts and I have documentation to support these points. Mr. Torrano may control the RTC Executive Board, but will NEVER control Elections or the Registrar of Voters office.

If the Republican Voters choose to re-elect me, I will continue to serve ALL voters regardless of affiliation. I respectfully ask for your vote on Aug. 12. Hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Karen Doyle Lyons

Republican Registrar of Voters


7 responses to “Letter: Setting the record straight”

  1. Norewalk Lifer

    Mrs. Lyons:
    Thank you for setting the record straight, before we are Republicans or Democrats, we are Americans, and your work shows this is what that means.
    Thank you again, it would seem to me that the RTC is letting the diamond walk off the jewelry counter.

    Norwalk Lifer

  2. Notaffiliated

    Thank you for your service.

  3. pnolin

    I write to object to and comment upon the misstatement in Ms. Lyons piece for NoN. She is claiming to set the record straight but her letter is a self-serving and selectively reported piece that is full of half-truths and omissions.

    On keeping the voters list up to date, Ms. Lyons claims she correctly purges voter files, as she is required to do, but she fails to report that she improperly purged approximately 3000 voters files and was taken to task by the state for her actions and forced to reinstate those voters. On the other hand, we all know the voters list remains full of voters who are dead, nonresidents, or otherwise improperly listed. Why are the lists not up to date?

    On the issue of fines, Ms. Lyons was fined by the state, not for the actions of the City’s IT Department, but through her own refusal to follow state directives. Blaming the IT department for her own issues is hardly fair or proper.

    Ms. Lyons failure to account for district changes was also a real problem. It cannot be disputed that misplaced voters, listed in the wrong district did in fact cost one Republican candidate an election. Ms. Lyons had over 50 registered Republicans listed in a district in which they did not live, and a Republican lost by approximately 10 votes because these voters were not counted in that tally. This is something the Registrar should have fixed before the election.

    On the issue of the Veteran’s Committee, Ms. Lyons was not “selected” as she says to represent the City, but approached all the mayors and requested that she be allowed to serve in that role at her own request. Mr. Torrano never told her she could not work at that “volunteer” role and Mr. Torrano was never Ms. Lyons’ supervisor. Mr. Torrano as a citizen and Republican leader asked that she spend less time working on activities unrelated to her Registrar position and dedicate herself during working hours to the very well paid position she holds as Registrar. It appears that Ms. Lyons now misrepresents her conversation with Mr. Torrano for personal advantage and to gain sympathy in her campaign.

    On the issue of babysitting, Ms. Lyons must have forgotten that she was told by Mayor Moccia not to babysit in the Registrar’s office as it was unprofessional and conflicting with her duties as the Registrar. This goes to the heart of the matter. Ms. Lyons has never been satisfied simply to perform her duties as Registrar for the very handsome salary from the Norwalk taxpayers. She has always felt that she need to use the office for other personal undertakings. Many of us, including former Mayor Moccia, have objected and said these side activities were not proper.

    Now is the time for a change and for new Republican Registrar. That is why the Norwalk Republican Town Committee has not endorsed Ms. Lyons and why we urge the voters to support John Federici in the coming primary.

    Peter M. Nolin

  4. Norewalk Lifer

    Dear Mr.Nolin:

    I’ve read earlier comments from those from the RTC in this journal, and found the comments to be “character assassination”, anywhere from personality, to dereliction of duty because of her volunteering on the Veteran’s project.

    Ms. Andreoli’s flyer to voters was published here, and instead of touting Mr. Federici’s capabilities, it was an attack on Mrs. Lyons character.

    Now we have an incident concerning voter polling places; and that isn’t the fault of Mrs. Lyons nor Mr. Wells; but they were quick to rectify the situation, in fact, it was the fault of the RTC.

    And insofar as a candidate losing due to inaccurate reporting on districts, I really must point out that if the candidate lost by 10 votes, that could have been due to the voters themselves; you must impress them. In other words, the lack of votes those specific voters held, could have be defrayed by the influx of new votes; it wasn’t, that doesn’t speak to a voter map, it speaks to a candidate’s platform.

    This seems to be a tempest in a tea pot, and those of us who have encountered Mrs. Lyons in city hall may have a different viewpoint; in fact, from what I have read, that certainly seems to be the case.

    Norwalk Lifer

  5. Suzanne

    Mr. Nolin, Your accusations are serious. Any proof?

  6. PNolin

    These are not accusation or character assassination; these are simple facts which Ms. Lyons and many other folks in City Hall know to be true. I cannot believe Ms. Lyons will dispute these points. She may assert they should not matter to voters but she can hardly claim these are false statements. But if there is an on going dispute about these issues perhaps the Mayor will call us in to mediate; since facts and proof don’t seem to matter much in Norwalk these days.

  7. Sophie 21

    Apnolin – Again – question asked and again not answered or proven – show us the proof!!! Otherwise it is just your opinion!

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