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Connecticut voters take on primary election amid COVID-19 pandemic

There was hand sanitizer and plexiglass in place, but not many lines at polling locations around the state.

CONNECTICUT, USA — It Was a slow day at the polls as Connecticut held primary elections but officials said thousands submitted votes via absentee ballots.  

State officials said they typically see about 40% of registered voters turnout for the primary election, but no official word just yet on how many residents actually voted as officials will be counting until later this week. State officials said we should have final numbers from Connecticut cities and towns by midnight this Thursday. 

There was hand sanitizer and plexiglass in place, but not many lines at polling locations around the state.  Although Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said it doesn’t mean residents didn't vote. Merrill said more than 300,000 residents requested absentee ballot applications for Tuesday's primary election, taking advantage of the chance to avoid the polls amid COVID-19 concerns. 

“I actually have a medical condition so it just seemed that regarding absentee ballots, it would be the safest measure for me” West Hartford resident Gina Rosich said. 

"I think it’s been widely popular from the looks of how many absentee ballots we are getting in, people really are thankful that they have this opportunity," Merrill said.

While other voters are still comfortable enough to make it out the polls. 

“I’m going into a workplace so it’s not as big of a deal but I certainly understand people being nervous about it,”  West Hartford resident  Aileen Panarella said. 

Although polls closed at 8 p.m., votes will continue to roll in thanks to Governor Lamont’s executive order allowing ballots postmarked Tuesday to be counted until Thursday. It was a decision made after nearly half the state lost power due to last week’s storm. 

“It was already a tight time frame and with delays in the postal service with people not having power we felt it was important to let every person vote,” Merrill said. 

Tuesday acting as a preview of what voters can expect come November's general election when officials say 75 percent of registered voters turn out.

“We may do things slightly differently but the legislature has voted unanimously that people should have this opportunity if they have a fear of COVID not just if they’re actually sick,” Merrill said. 

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