As the COVID-19 pandemic throws an election year into a tailspin, many states are opting to mail ballot applications to all registered voters for the first time, including Connecticut.
The secretary of state’s office mailed out applications between Sept. 8 and Sept. 11 and included a postage-paid return envelope. All voters are eligible to vote by mail by checking the COVID-19 excuse on the application, thanks to a law passed in July. Absentee ballots were mailed out beginning Oct. 2.
The deadline to register to vote in Connecticut is Oct. 27. Otherwise, there are Election Day registration locations in each town. Nov. 2 is the deadline to request an absentee ballot application, though clerks advise to not wait that long.
To be counted, ballots must arrive by close of polls, 8 p.m. on Election Day.
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About 2 percent of ballots are usually discounted in the state, mostly due to a failure to sign the outer envelope.
Voters who requested absentee ballots can still vote in person if they do not return the ballot they received by mail.
There are secure drop boxes in every town, often located outside the town hall. Voters can also mail ballots to the town clerk, using the postage-paid envelope or a different envelope with postage.
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And while President Trump is making the case that widespread mail-in voting could be rife with fraud, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin used a ceremonial bill last week to promote the security of voting by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Lamont signed a bill allowing town clerks to process absentee ballots beginning the Friday before the election, to speed the counting of votes in an election that some say results could be delayed for weeks due to the high volume of absentee ballots.