HEBRON, Conn. — As Connecticut's primary election is coming up on Aug. 9, how does someone vote absentee?
Absentee voting is meant for people who know they cannot make it to the polls in person on the day of the election to cast their ballot. Last year, because of the pandemic, all registered voters who were worried about catching COVID could utilize absentee voting. Now, things have changed.
So who does qualify?
- Active members of the armed forces of the United States
- Those out of town on Election Day
- Sickness preventing someone from voting in person
- Religious beliefs preventing someone from performing secular activities like voting on Election Day
- Those volunteering at a polling place other than their own on Election Day
- Physical disability
The application period for absentee ballots is already open. Voters can download the form to apply for one from the Secretary of the State's website or get one from the town clerk.
If it's six days before the election, voters can apply for an emergency absentee ballot application.
There are three ways to submit the absentee ballot once the clerk sends it back to voters in the mail:
- Mail to town clerk: Must be received - not postmarked - no later than 8 p.m. by the close of polls on primary day
- Drop box: Local drop boxes can be found on the state's voter portal. They are operational 29 days before election day (Starting July 11 for the primaries)
- In person: Must return to town clerk by close of business the day before primary day
These ballots will be hand counted and double-checked by local election officials to make sure they're coming from a legitimate voter. Voting by absentee ballot if the voter is not eligible for one of the specific reasons can end in civil and criminal penalties.
"Our ballots are secure. They come back to us when they’ve been voted on. They’re in an envelope, confidential envelope, we track who’s voting, who received a ballot, who returned their ballot, and then we keep it locked in a safe until Election Day, when we give it to the registrars," said Carla Pomprowicz, who has been the Hebron Town Clerk for more than two decades.
There are instructions on the absentee ballots once you get them in the mail, showing you how to fill them out.
“You're going to fill in the circle of the person you're voting for. Fold that up, and this becomes what we call the "A". So "A" goes into "B", this is the "B" envelope. You want to sign and date, if you do not sign and date this it will not get counted. And then we put the "B" envelope into the "C" envelope," Pomprowicz said.
Then, you put your address on it, a postal stamp, and mail it out to the town clerk or bring it to them, or leave it at a drop box location.
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