Your election guide: Looking at how to vote during the pandemic

Published on Sunday, 13 September 2020 20:44
Written by MATT HORNICK

@MNHornick

With the 2020 election less than two months away and the coronavirus pandemic still keeping people in their homes for much of the day, it is imperative that voters understand what is required of them to make their voice heard.

When is Election Day?

Election Day will be on the first Tuesday of November as always, which is Nov. 3.

Can I vote in person this year?

Yes. In-person voting will still be available this year as it always is. The only difference is that masks will be required. Be sure to bring a form of identification that has your address, photo or signature. First-time voters who registered by mail will need to bring a proof of residence such as a valid photo ID with your name and address or a recent utility bill or bank statement.    

Does Connecticut offer early voting?

No. The only options for voters in Connecticut are to vote in person on Election Day or submit an absentee ballot, which provides and requires the ability to vote ahead of time.

How do I register for an absentee ballot?

You must be a registered voter to apply for an absentee ballot. Applications can be found online at myvote.ct.gov/absentee or at the Town Clerk’s office. Similar to the primary, the state will be sending absentee applications to all registered voters in Connecticut because of the pandemic. The state legislature passed a law that allows everyone to vote absentee this year due to the pandemic, just make sure to check the box for “covid-19” on the application.

If I requested an absentee ballot for the primary election, do I already have one coming for the general election?

No. You will be sent another application as you were for the primary, but if you haven’t received one already it is recommended that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you have enough time to have your vote get counted. Absentee ballots will be mailed out Oct. 2.

Can I request an absentee ballot and still vote in person?

Yes. Local vote collectors are diligently set up to ensure no one votes more than once so anyone who receives an absentee ballot but would still prefer to vote in person is able to. Anyone who tries to vote twice by submitting an absentee ballot and trying to vote in person will still only have one vote counted as absentee ballots that arrive before election day will prevent those people from voting in person election day and all absentees that arrive on election day will not be counted until all in-person votes are counted so any duplicate names will be ignored.

How do I vote with an absentee ballot?

Once you receive your ballot in the mail, fill it out as you normally would on Election Day. Your vote can then be submitted by placing it in the traditional mail, bringing it to the Town Clerk’s office or placing it in the secure drop box that was put in each town. Bristol’s drop boxes are located at either entrance to City Hall, Plainville’s is located outside of the municipal center and Southington’s are located at town hall.

When do I have to send my absentee ballot for it to count?

All ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day for them to be counted. Anyone who submits an absentee ballot before Election Day will be counted for and thus unable to cheat the system and vote a second time the day of. All absentee ballots received the day of the election will be held until the polls close to be able to check if this person already voted by other means. If it is found that the person already casted a vote, the absentee ballot will be discarded. It is recommended that ballots be submitted as soon as possible.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, Forestville, Plainville, Plymouth, Southington Herald, Terryville on Sunday, 13 September 2020 20:44. Updated: Sunday, 13 September 2020 20:46.