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How municipal election officials prepare for a smooth election day

Putting on an election isn’t easy and in Waterbury, they have 23 polling locations.

CONNECTICUT, USA — The countdown to the count is on. With Election Day just around the corner, municipal governments are getting ready to tabulate your vote.

When you go to vote, it’s simple. Check-in, fill out an oval, slide your ballot into a slot and leave. The reason it’s so simple is due in large part to the logistical preparation that has been underway for months in communities across Connecticut.

RELATED: 2022 Election Voter Guide: What you need to know before heading to the polls

FOX61 visited the Registrar of Voters in Waterbury where they were busy getting voters registered and on the rolls before the Tuesday deadline. “Oh yeah. Absolutely. All day long they’ve been coming in,” said Theresa Begnal, one of the registrars.

Voters like John and Marlene Cronin recently moved to town and said elections are too important to sit on the sidelines. 

“Fundamentally, that’s our right and we should do it. I think everyone should vote,” Cronin said. 

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Putting on an election isn’t easy and in Waterbury, they have 23 polling locations.

“We have to inspect them all every single year. Make sure the phone lines are working, make sure they are handicapped accessible. We have to train 250 poll workers to work on that day. It’s a big undertaking,” Begnal said.

 Begnal told FOX61 that getting those poll workers hasn’t been easy. “We're having some trouble finding poll workers for this election. The last couple of elections actually and the city has offered to let city employees work at the polls for the day.”

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Before Connecticut had paper ballots we had electronic tabulators. One on display in the registrar's office was last used in 1988. Now we have updated tabulators for the paper ballots but even they are reaching the end of their life. “Last election we lost 3 tabulators because of the heat so those were sent out for repair and returned to us. But we have backups,” said Begnal.

Terry said paper ballots may feel old school, but unlike electronics, they can’t be hacked and are easily saved in the event of a recount. Every vote that’s cast is tabulated, locked, and labeled, and put in a vault for at least two weeks or until election results are certified.


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