With the primary in the rearview mirror, the state of Connecticut is getting ready for the general election and the crush of one million absentee ballots.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill plans to send 2.1 million absentee ballot applications to all voters and she told town clerks that she didn’t plan to use a mail house to help them send out absentee ballots.
“She says 'well I’m not going to use the mail house.' Well, if it went so great and so smoothly, then why aren’t we repeating it for the general election? Because everyone knows the truth is that this was an abomination that just went sideways,” Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano said.
The primary last week was the first time Connecticut voters didn’t need an excuse to vote by absentee, and many took advantage. 68% of people who voted in the primary voted by absentee.
Towns clerks said they were unexpectedly required to send out 20,000 ballots just days before the primary. That combined with mail delays meant some people didn’t receive their ballots.
“The town clerks will go back to the mailing of the ballots, as they always have,” Merrill says. “It’s a local job. So we will be paying for the mailing because there will be a lot of extra expense.”
Merrill says it's too late for a mail house to process 500 ballot styles this close to an election.
“Town clerks do want to have the applications coming back to us so that we can process those absentee ballots and ensure that the voters of our town receive the ballots for this upcoming election,” Anna Posniak said.
Posniak, who is the Windsor Town Clerk and head of the association, said they want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to vote.
“The town clerks will begin issuing absentee ballots begging Oct. 2,” Posniak said. “Again, the voters should not delay in voting those ballots and return them to the town clerk's office either by mail or through one of the absentee ballot drop boxes that are located in each municipality.”