Longtime Democratic Registrar of Voters Marie Fox honored by town officials posthumously

Published on Friday, 13 January 2023 10:18
Written by Erica Drzewiecki


NEWINGTON – Longtime Democratic Registrar of Voters Marie Fox was honored by town officials posthumously this week, after passing away Dec. 27.

Mayor Beth DelBuono read a proclamation in her honor during the Town Council’s first meeting of the year Tuesday night.

“I will say before I begin that we had planned on doing this proclamation back in December but Marie was ill at the time so we postponed it to January in hopes she might be able to join us,” the mayor said before beginning. “Quite sadly, Marie has since passed away and is no longer with us. We do have her family here to represent and receive the proclamation.”

Fox was first hired by the town in July 1990 after earning her certification as Elections Administrator from Briarwood College. She served up until this past November, after not being endorsed by Newington Democrats and running unsuccessfully as a petitioning candidate.

Over her 32-year tenure with the town, Fox managed eight presidential elections, nine gubernatorial state elections, 16 municipal elections and several stand-alone referendums. She advised the town through three mandatory redistricting cycles, including the most recent this past spring. As a member of the CT Registrar of Voters Association she served as the Hartford County Chairman until 2012.

Fox was credited with designing an Emergency Contingency Plan for Elections in 2013 ahead of SuperStorm Sandy. This same plan was revised to address the impacts of covid-19 during the 2020 election cycle.

Fox also led the town through the Nov. 2006 election, when Newington served as one of 25 pilot towns testing the use of Optical Scan Voting Machines, which remain in use today.

DelBuono recalled how her mother met Fox at the beauty parlor they both went to and the two became fast friends.

“It was truly an honor and a pleasure to work with your mom, your wife and your grandma,” the mayor told the Fox family, who attended the meeting.

Deputy Mayor Gail Budrejko recalled how Fox had used the words honesty, integrity and experience while campaigning this past election season.

“These were not just campaign slogans, they described her tenure as Registrar of Voters over 32 years,” Budrejko said. “To her family that’s here tonight or may be watching, I offer my sincere condolences; she will be missed. She left quite a legacy and you should be proud.”

Majority Leader Tim Manke told fellow councilors that he will always imagine Fox in Town Hall during elections.

“With her red jacket and her election beads,” he said. “The things she implemented to take our voting system to the next level will be with us forever.”

Heartfelt thoughts came from Republic Registrar of Voters Theresa Avey, who served alongside Fox for many years.

“When I became Registrar I walked into the office and the first thing she taught me was you leave the politics at the door,” Avey said. “Everything I have learned about how to run an election, how to run the Registrar of Voters’ office is from Marie.”

Avey attended a ROVAC meeting in Windsor earlier in the day, she said, and fellow registrars from around the state all had kind words for Fox.

“Every day she taught me something and that office will never be the same,” Avey said. “I miss her dearly. There are days when I’m in there going, ‘what do I do Marie, give me a little sign’ and for what it’s worth she’s given me little signs. I’ve been blessed to not only know her as a person and a friend but as a mentor.”

Marie’s husband, Michael Fox, accepted the honor from the town alongside the couple’s children and grandchildren.

“On behalf of everybody, thank you to the Council and thank you Newington,” he said. “This town is wonderful.”

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at edrzewiecki@centralctcommunications.com.

Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington News on Friday, 13 January 2023 10:18. Updated: Friday, 13 January 2023 10:21.