This is one of the most litigious elections in memory with hundreds of lawsuits filed across the country leading up to Nov. 3.
There is preparation underway for new legal challenges in Connecticut come Election Day. Decisions will likely be made at both the ballot box and in court in the days ahead.
“I am ready for whatever comes our way,” said Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who is preparing for potential legal fights if a lawsuit is filed on or after Election Day.
“We see them all the time, unfortunately, and I’m fighting hard against them,” said Tong. “I’ve beaten them in court and we’re going to beat them on Election Day.”
Tong said his office has already handled a number of cases related to COVID-19 election safety provisions, including who is allowed to vote absentee. Tong’s office has filed several amicus briefs in cases around the country that pertained to how many ballot drop boxes can be available and to how much time there can be to count the vote.
“Attorneys General across the country including my colleagues in the swing states - we are highly coordinated. We’re organized. We’re prepared and we’re ready," Tong said.
Back during the midterm elections in November 2018, hundreds of people – many of whom were college students – waited in long lines at New Haven city hall for Election Day Registration (EDR).
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said she does not anticipate any scenes quite like that – or any legal challenges related to such an instance – because there is much less pressure on EDR sites this time around. Fewer college students are currently in school in-person and more people are voting absentee, Merrill said.
Still, Merrill said new legal battles are always possible.
“I don’t know what they’ll be,” said Merrill. “Who knows what little anomalies will happen on Election night?”
Merrill’s main focus is the vote count itself, though she hoped to temper the public’s expectations about just how much of election results will be completed on Election night.
“Not all of them. I think we all have to be a little bit patient here,” Merrill said. “This is an extraordinary situation and we are dealing with a flood of absentee ballots that we’ve never dealt with before.”
Merrill said she expects more than half of Connecticut towns, especially smaller communities, to be done vote counting by midnight at the end of Election Day.