There’s good new and bad news for registered Connecticut voters who are concerned about the prospect of facing crowds and long lines at polling places this November.
First, the good news: For the first time, all voters can vote by absentee ballot in the November general election, due to the unprecedented, widespread health threat posed by the coronavirus.
Second, the bad news: Because of the recent slow-down of USPS mail, the mail-in ballot may take longer than usual to get delivered to your town hall. To ensure it is counted, mail-in ballots must arrive by 8 pm on Election Day.
What’s a registered voter – who would like to avoid having to visit their polling place on November 6 – to do? Take these steps to vote absentee, starting mid- September through early October, to ensure your vote is counted.
1. Keep your eyes on your mailbox the week after Labor Day for an absentee ballot application that will be sent to the 2.1 million registered voters in the state. (If you are not sure if you are registered to vote, go to myvote.ct.gov).
2. If you’d like to cast an absentee vote, check the “COVID-19” excuse on the application.
3. Return the application immediately. Though the application can be mailed, it is highly recommended that you return it to the physical drop box located outside your town hall. Look for a metal box, bolted to the sidewalk, and featuring the state of Connecticut seal.
4. Be on the lookout for your official absentee ballot to arrive in the mail the first week in October. If you do not receive your official ballot by October 9, contact your town clerk or the secretary of state.
5. Once your official absentee ballot arrives, either send it back immediately by mail or – better yet – deposit it in the official collection box outside your town hall as soon as possible.
To ensure your absentee ballot is counted, bring it to the official state voting drop box located outside your town hall. This box stands outside the Windsor Locks town offices.
By Laura Hayden