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Absentee ballots are now available for Connecticut residents

John Froschauer

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said she worked for months to make sure every citizen in Connecticut could use an absentee ballot in the 2020 elections. She said she was able to renew that push this year, with options to avoid delays with the mail by setting up ballot drop boxes.

“They became a wonderful way for people to be able to make sure that their ballot got to the town in time,” Merrill said.

Local elections take place on November 2. Residents have until October 26 to register to vote. Voters can register, find out if they are registered, fill out an application for an absentee ballot or look up their polling places at myvote.ct.gov.

Merrill and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont urged voters to make it to the polls or send in absentee ballots for local elections in November.

2020 was the most successful election that Connecticut had in years, according to Merrill, with record voter turnout. Merrill said that Connecticut had millions of dollars of federal money to help the towns protect residents from COVID-19.

Lamont hopes this year's turnout is similar to last year. He hopes the state can lead in voter participation this year, the same way it has earned top national rankings for COVID-19 vaccination.

“We’re at the top of a lot of lists, Connecticut — vaccinations and education. But, we’re not at the top of the list when it comes to people voting. That’s another list I’d like to get to the top of,” Lamont said in Hartford on Tuesday.

“I’d like people to know that their vote makes a difference. I want you to have a stake in the election. I want you to have a stake in the outcome,” Lamont continued. “That’s how we make this a better state and a better country.”

Merrill said that the federal money that was used last year to protect residents from COVID-19 was also used to protect votes through cybersecurity.

“I would have to say our elections are much more secure than they were when we first heard about hacking in 2016,” Merrill said. “Since that time, we’ve put in place many security measures both at the local and state level. We’ve continued those partnerships with everything from the National Guard to the Federal Department of Homeland Security.”

Natalie is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.