We are less than a week away from Election Day and Wednesday state officials held a news conference about the state’s preparedness for the election and residents casting votes for the next president, as well as other ballot items.
There are 2.1 million registered voters in Connecticut, which surpasses the number of the 2008 election. Officials are expecting a large turnout. In the 2008 presidential election, Connecticut saw 78 percent voter turnout.
The deadline to register in advance was Tuesday. Residents who did register in advance should check to make sure it went through properly by visiting myvote.ct.gov. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said everyone who registered in advance should be listed on the site by Friday.
Anyone who did not register in advance can register on Election Day, but residents should call their town or city to find out where the voter registration will be located. Registration will be at a separate location from your designated polling place.
Residents must be registered and in line to vote by 8 p.m. on Election Day or they will not be able to vote. Being in line to register by 8 p.m. will not count. Because state officials expect record turnout, it is likely there will be long lines at some locations.
Many states offer early voting, but this is not available in Connecticut. The only way to vote in advance is an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots must be physically in by 8 p.m. on Election Day or it will not be counted – a postmark before 8 p.m. will not suffice.
There are 760 polling places throughout the state and every town and city has emergency plans in place to deal with issues such as power outages to ensure that everyone is able to cast their vote.
Moderators at every polling location are trained to handle potential issues such as voter intimidation. Anyone who comes across an issue that cannot be immediately solved by a moderator is encouraged to call the Voter Information Election Day hotline at 1-866-733-2463.
The state is also coordinating with the Connecticut Bar Association and lawyers will be scattered across the state prepared to respond to voting related issues if necessary. There will be 110 volunteer lawyers on call for Election Day.
Officials said the state is working with with the Department of Homeland Security to address safety and security concerns.
Merrill stressed that voting machines are not connected to the internet. Towns will upload the data from the tabulators at the conclusion of voting. A paper-based system makes it possible to check back if needed.
“I can’t say it often enough. No tabulator is connected to the Internet. Not anywhere in the country. So I hope by now we have sort of debunked this theory that there’s going to be some internet explosion,” she said.